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Death toll of Rawda mosque, Al-Arish rises to 305, 128 injured: General Prosecution  - Daily News Egypt

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Death toll of Rawda mosque, Al-Arish rises to 305, 128 injured: General Prosecution 

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack up to the time of print 

The death toll from the Rawda mosque attack in Al-Arish rose to 305, including 27 children, in addition to 128 injured, making the attack the deadliest in Egypt’s history, according to a statement issued by the General Prosecution on Saturday.

“Around 25 to 30 takfiri elements holding IS flags” appeared inside the mosque as its preacher was delivering the Friday sermon, and started shooting at prayer-attendees, the statement said according to information sent from the North Sinai directorate to the General Prosecution.

“The militants positioned in front of the door of the mosque and its twelve windows,” the statement said, meaning that gunmen surrounded the praying congregation from all sides of the mosque, to prevent their movement.


The statement continued that militants arrived at the mosque in five four-wheel-drive vehicles and burned seven cars belonging to mosque-goers.

Moreover, the statement also said that members of the General Prosecution have arrived to Al-Ismailia General and Al-Ismailia University hospitals, where the injured where transferred, to listen to their testimonies.

The testimonies stated that “the praying congregation heard sounds of shooting and bombing coming from outside the mosque,” followed by “the entrance of a number of persons inside the mosque…some of whom were masked and others were not,” adding that “one of them was holding a black flag with a print of the ‘Shahada’, an Islamic oath of creed, while all wore clothes resembling military uniform”. It further said that militants started randomly shooting at cars and the people praying inside the mosque, during the Friday sermon.

General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered a prompt investigation into the attack to gather the required information to arrest the suspects and to take the necessary legal action. A team delegated from the General Prosecution arrived to the scene to survey the mosque.

Egypt’s Armed Forces launched air strikes, killing a number of militants in North Sinai, who were among the group involved in the attack on the mosque, according to a statement from a military spokesperson on Friday evening.

The attack against the mosque was an explosion due to an improvised explosive device (IED), according to local media reports, and coincided with the weekly Friday prayers. Local media reported that unknown militants opened fire at civilians after the explosion, as they attempted to escape the scene.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far. However, both Hasm movement and Jund Al-Islam, an Al-Qaeda affiliated group in North Sinai, issued a statement denying responsibility. The latter group appeared in 2013 in Egypt, when it claimed responsibility for an attack against a Military Intelligence building located in the city of Rafah in Sinai. The attack resulted in the death and injury of several members of the army.

The Hasm movement appeared in early 2016 when, in August, the group said it was behind the failed assassination attempt of former Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa. In October of the same year, militants driving a black private vehicle opened fire on army leader Adel Ragaai, assassinating him in front of his residence in Al-Obour City.

The reasons behind the attack are still unclear, as it is the first mosque attack in Egypt, although a number of Sufi sheikhs have previously been targetted in North Sinai. Up to this attack, terror attacks had been committed against security checkpoints, personnel, and churches.

The mosque, popular with Sufi worshippers, is located in Rawda village in Bir al-Abd, 40 kilometres west of the North Sinai capital of Al-Arish. The village has 2,211 residents, according to Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) in 2016. Rawda village is not among the areas in North Sinai that have been under state of emergency since 2014.

In his first comments following the attack, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi offered condolences for the families of the victims, and asserted that the attack will not pass without punishment and decisiveness and that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

“The pain felt by the Egyptian people in these difficult moments will not go in vain, but will drive them with hope and determination from such a pain to win this war, that is fought with honour and strength against black terrorism,” Al-Sisi added.

Al-Sisi reviewed reports about the incident and the developments of efforts to pursue the perpetrators of the attack, during an emergency meeting with the ministers of defence and interior and the head of intelligence.

The president declared a three-day state of mourning after the attack, and ordered the armed forces to build a monument in the village of Rawda commemorating the martyrs of the mosque attack. He also ordered EGP 200,000 and EGP 50,000 in compensation for the families of the dead and injured, respectively.

In a televised speech, the president vowed to respond to terrorism with brute force to maintain security and stability and to avenge the victims.

Foreign and Arab leaders have condemned the attack and offered condolences to Egypt, following the deadly attack. They further expressed support and solidarity for Egypt’s efforts to fight terrorism. Among the leaders were US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani also sent condolences to Al-Sisi. Earlier this year, Egypt cut its ties with Qatar, along with three Gulf countries, on the grounds that the country supports terrorism.


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  • Moonbeam

    Most interesting to note that Arab countries who harboured, promoted or financed terrorism in the past are now becoming targets of terrorists…

    I guess the old adage of “You reap what you sow” is true!

    • TruthB4Lies

      Moonbeam Does that mean that the USA might reap bad things from starting a war against Iraq, a nation that never attacked our country? Remember they didn’t find weapons of mass destruction over there? What about the hundreds of thousands of civilian men, women, children and babies that have died in the Arab region because of the mayhem we took to their part of the world? I hope you’re wrong about reaping what we sow.

      • Moonbeam

        You’re missing the point…which is that terrorism was harboured, promoted and financed by the Arab countries, and now terrorists are attacking Arab countries. So the Arabs reaped what they sowed. Simple enough…

  • Whiteguy

    This is why we do not want Muslims in the USA.

    • TruthB4Lies

      Whiteguy Bush should have thought about that before starting his war. Thousands of Islamic War refugees are arriving in the US, Canada, EU and Australia weekly. These are people who are a direct result of the mayhem the warmongers here in the USA created.
      The warmongers have done more to spread Islamic people around the globe than Mohammad ever dreamed of doing.

      • Bruceben09

        Prior to gwb, bill clinton rescued tens if not hundreds of thousands of muslims in the bosnian war. Nyc trade center was then attacked by muslims in 1993. You need to factor in some of this. Gwb made things worse but, did not start this.

        • Faris Mee

          Clinton blockaded Iraq. More than 500000 kiddies died. Red Cross report.
          Amerika are the criminals.


        • TruthB4Lies

          Bruceben09 Please read my second reply to the above person named “Whiteguy”. It will explain a couple of the things you’ve mentioned. Also keep in mind that Muslims in different countries are totally different than Muslims in other countries. We can’t lump a whole region of people into a category saying they all behave the same. Their tribes have been warring with each other for thousands of years and they definitely do not think they are all the same.

      • Whiteguy

        We are war enders not starters.

        None of these people were not any better off before we showed up.

        They are all leaches. Ruining the land no matter where they are.

        We do not have to feel sorry for non whites that have created their own mess. Cut off the aid and let them get busy rebuilding their sand box.

        • TruthB4Lies

          Whiteguy If Bush didn’t start a war in Iraq, then I don’t know who did. The Trade Towers on 9/11 were taken down by a Saudi Arabian named Osama bin Laden. Saudi Arabia is a totally different country than Iraq. Look at the globe or map of the world.

          Many of the Islamic people you seem to dislike are now war refugees and are coming to your cities and towns now because of Bush’s war.

          The same thing happened with Vietnam, the other stupid war. Millions of Vietnamese people came to the USA because they were war refugees. War does that and no one seems to get it. We have to pay taxes to get these people set up in housing and find them jobs.

          You say we should cut off aid and let the Iraq get busy rebuilding it’s sand box. But you need to understand that Vice President Chaney, didn’t want that.

          He wanted the giant construction company, Halliburton to get contracts to rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq after it was blown up. He was once CEO for Halliburton and if you know anything about how “kickbacks” work, you know he made a ton of money getting them Iraq contracts. So consequently, your tax dollars were used to destroy the infrastructure and to rebuild it. Not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan and other Arab countries we’ve been bombing.

          We’ve now spent over 3 Trillion dollars on this longest war in US History.

          Did you know that China started their High Speed Rail project around the same time Bush started this war? China now has over 4,500 High Speed Trains, moving products and people around it’s country at 1/10 the time it takes us to move ours. They are also saving billions of dollars in fuel costs by doing this.

          If you think, we’ve used our money foolishly, then you might want to consider which party created all this foolishness and who you’ve voted for. We have to learn to pick and choose leaders, not by which party they belong to, but by their voting record.

          Sanders voted No to Bush’s war and he was one of the very few Congressional leaders who had enough guts to vote for the good of the country. Many of the others believed Bush’s lies about weapons of mass destruction, and went along like sheep and attacked a nation that had never attacked us.

          Perhaps you should think about these things and tell them to your friends and ask them to tell their friends because nothing changes, if people can’t change their minds and get on a better track.

          • Whiteguy

            China is still China regardless of the trains abilities. Get a clue. In the grand picture we the good guys have to do some dirty work to stop the terrorists and communists from spreading.

            You sound like you never served in the military. I have and I have no regrets.

          • TruthB4Lies

            China is so heavily invested in the USA that we don’t have to worry about a war with them. They own so many skyscrapers here that they would never bomb us. So that’s the new communist invasion in case you didn’t know. They are snapping up skyscrapers in New York and own 8 % of our debt since they loaned us tons of money to fight these so called terrorists.
            You know what ? A good Israeli Hit Squad could have located and taken out Osama bin Laden for a few million dollars. They could have got his whole crew and probably with no collateral damage of innocent people nearby.
            Going after him with a huge military machine like the armed forces was like Bush trying to kill a fly with a sledgehammer inside a China shop. You’ve heard the phrase “Bull in a China shop” Well that was Bush.
            It was a pea-brained approach and totally foolish.

            Military people like yourself are correct to have no regrets because you are following orders and trust your superiors to be astute and knowledgeable.

            I have never blamed the soldier for anything that happens during a war. It’s the leaders who are the ones responsible for the soldiers being there in the first place.

            Unfortunately in the past we have had fear monger Presidents that get us into wars that didn’t have to be fought like Johnson and Bush, both Texans by the way.

            Vietnam is a perfect example, they became a communist country regardless of how much Johnson feared them becoming that. We are now big trading partners with them. Total unnecessary War.

          • Whiteguy

            Sure the whole world would just sing kumbaya together without the U.S.

            You are a rebel without a cause.

            Find someone else to snow with your rhetoric. I am not buying it.

          • TruthB4Lies

            Whiteguy Well, meanwhile you can sing “Hello Dolly” to your new Islamic War Refugee neighbors that are moving into your town. Maybe they will like your singing and Thank you for getting them here because of your war mentality.
            I doubt they really will, since their homes were probably destroyed by bombs you helped pay for with your tax dollars. 39,000 of them came here last year and I don’t know how many this year, but it’s going to continue for quite a long time. Worse yet, you stuck Europe, Canada and Australia with helping to clean up your mess. Ask them how happy they are about it.
            You sound like a Rebel without a clue. But you created the mess along with Bush. You and the people who voted for him in his second term should be the ones to pick up the tab for getting your new neighbors housing and jobs.
            The enlightened people who were against the war shouldn’t have to carry your baggage.
            It’s no snow job that you created this and, yes, you are going to be buying it with your tax dollars.

          • Whiteguy


            Bla bla bla.

            I am not poor enough to live with non whites. And I do not hire them to do my lawn either.

            Why should I ask Europe, Canada and Australia anything? I do not care about their opinions. They make their own choices and can take care of themselves.

            You should have them in your house so you can cry about the world with them. No white guilt here.

            Boo hoo.

            P.S. previously you said you do not blame the soldiers for the commands of those in charge and yet here you are now blaming the soldiers. I guess you felt like your argument was getting no where so you tried to change it. Hint: you are still getting no where.

  • rafaeltrefil

    Another lovely day in the Park from the sweet loving kind members of the Religion of Peace.

  • Raj Dhillon

    My heart felt condolences to the effected families and the bereaved nation of Egypt. May the Almighty provide succour and strength to families of the departed souls to overcome this tragedy. My plea is also to the people who perpetrate this violence to sanctify the lives of all humans who pray for a peaceful resolution to all conflicts and see the futility of taking and effecting human lives. Lives which only mean well to all on Earth. During the coming Season we pray for peace and goodwill among all the people. Wherever we are, let us pray for intercession of the Almighty. R.I.P.

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