2017 Sinai mosque attack

Al-Rawda mosque attack

Part of the Sinai insurgency and Terrorism in Egypt

Location Al-Rawda, Bir al-Abed, North Sinai Governorate, Egypt
Coordinates 31°2′22″N 33°20′52″E / 31°2′22″N 33°20′52″E / 31.03944; 33.34778
Date 24 November 2017 (2017-11-24)
1:50 PM EET ( UTC+2)
Target al-Rawda mosque
Attack type
Bombing, mass shooting
Weapons Bombs, rocket-propelled grenades and firearms
Deaths 311 [1]
Non-fatal injuries
at least 122 [2]
Suspected perpetrators

Islamic State

Motive Anti-Sufism [3] [4]

At 1:50 PM EET on 24 November 2017, the al-Rawda mosque was attacked by roughly 40 gunmen during Friday prayers. The mosque is located in the village of Al-Rawda [5] east of the town of Bir al-Abed in Egypt's North Sinai Governorate. It is one of the main mosques associated with the Jaririya Sufi order, one of the largest Sufi orders in North Sinai. The Jaririya order is named for its founder, Sheikh Eid Abu Jarir, who was a member of the Sawarka tribe and the Jarira clan. The Jarira clan resides in the vicinity of Bir al-Abed. [6] [7] The attack killed 311 people and injured at least 122, making it the deadliest attack in Egyptian history. [1] It is the second-deadliest terrorist attack of 2017 to date, after the Mogadishu bombings on 14 October. [8]

Attack

Al-Rawda Mosque, which is located on Sinai's main coastal highway connecting the city of Port Said to Gaza, belongs to the local Jarir clan, of the Sawarka tribe, who follow the Jaririya (Gaririya) Sufi order [9] [10] [11] [12]—an offshoot of the movement of Abu Ahmed al-Ghazawi, [13] [14] of the broader Darqawa order. [15] The mosque is on the road between El Arish and Bir al-Abed. [16] The mosque has a smaller zawiyah, a Sufi lodge, attached. [17]

According to local media, attackers in four off-road vehicles planted three bombs; the attackers used the burning wrecks of cars to block off escape routes. After their detonation, they launched rocket propelled grenades and opened fire on worshipers during the crowded Friday prayer at al-Rawda near Bir al-Abed. [10] When ambulances arrived to transport the wounded to hospitals, the attackers opened fire on them as well, having selected ambush points from which to target them. Local residents quickly responded, bringing the wounded to hospitals in their own cars and trucks, and even taking up weapons to fight back. [2] [18] [19]

Casualties

311 people were killed in the attack, including 27 children, and at least 122 others wounded. [20] Many of the victims worked at a nearby salt factory and were at the mosque for Friday prayers. [21] [22]

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