Death toll in Sinai mosque bombing rises to 311


Mohamed Abdel Fattah, the imam of al-Rawda mosque which was attacked by militants near the North Sinai provincial capital of El-Arish, receives treatment at al-Husseiniya hospital on November 26, 2017.

JOHANNESBURG – The death toll in last Friday’s attack on a Sufi Mosque in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has risen to 311, following the death of Abdel-Rahman Moussa, one of the 128 injured in the attack, according to Egypt’s North Sinai health directorate.

About 30 gunmen, who were reportedly carrying flags of the Islamic State (IS), gunned down hundreds of worshippers as they prayed at the Al-Rawda Mosque west of Al Arish city, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Egypt’s recent history.

There were 27 children among those murdered.

The gunmen had also planted explosives in the mosque and under the cars of some of the worshippers. More people were mowed down as they attempted to flee the mosque, with ambulances attempting to ferry away the wounded also shot at.

ANALYSIS: New level of horror in decades-long struggle to control Sinai

Ayman Walash, the Egyptian Embassy in Pretoria’s press attach, said shortly after the attack that the death toll was expected to rise as many critically injured people were fighting for their lives. At that point the death toll stood at 305. 

Most of the injured are still undergoing treatment at several hospitals, mainly in Ismailia and the capital, Cairo.

In response to the slaughter, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El Sisi ordered a military campaign that he warned would be carried out with an iron fist.

In a Tuesday shootout, between Egyptian security forces and the Islamist militants, 11 militants were killed in the Sinai.

On Wednesday, El Sisi gave Egyptian security forces just three months to restore stability and security in the Sinai Peninsula, authorising them to use the “utmost force”.

His order came during a speech he gave at a public celebration of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth, at the Islamic Al-Azhar’s conference centre in Cairo.