Rawdah mosque in North Sinai – Press Photo
CAIRO – 28 November 2017: Egyptians woke up on Friday to the news that 305 worshippers were killed in a terrorist attack on North Sinai’s Rawdah Mosque while they were performing the Friday prayer. The deadliest attack in the country shocked everyone for the fact that Islamist extremists killed Muslims inside a mosque. Actually, this incident was not the first.
Egypt Today will shed light on the most prominent attacks that targeted mosques and places of Islamic worship in different countries.
• Four civilians were killed and 18 were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the Imam Al-Rida Mosque in the Mahasen neighborhood in Al-Ahsa province during Friday prayers on January 29, 2016. Security forces said they prevented two terrorists wearing explosive belts from entering the mosque, so one of them blew himself up at the mosque's entrance, and another exchanged fire with security forces and was injured and arrested.
• On October 26, 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself up near Al-Mashahad Mosque – known as the second largest mosque of the Ismailia sect – in Dahda neighborhood in Najran, southern Saudi Arabia. Two were killed and 19 others injured.
• A suicide bomber blew himself up on August 6, 2015 inside a mosque belonging to the special emergency force in Abha city, Asir province in southern Saudi Arabia. The attack killed 15, including five security personnel, and injured 33 others.
• On May 22, 2015, a suicide bomber blew himself up while people were performing Friday prayers at Imam Ali bin Abi Taleb Mosque in Qudeih, affiliated with the Qatif province in eastern Saudi Arabia. The Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed 22 personnel and injured 102.
• On August 25, 2017, three suicide attackers stormed a crowded mosque in Kabul during the Friday prayer and two of them blew themselves up, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens. The aggression was the latest in a series of deadly attacks against Shiites in Afghanistan. ISIS claimed most of the deadly assaults against Shiite targets in the country.
Afghans inspected a Shiite mosque in Kabul on Friday after dozens of casualties occurred in a suicide attack. Credit Omar Sobhani - Reuters
• On October 20, 2017, two mosques were attacked simultaneously. The Imam Zaman Shiite mosque, west of Kabul, was detonated by a suicide bomber, killing 58 civilians and wounding 41 others. The other attack occurred in Dolaina district, in the western province of Ghor, and 33 people had been killed.
• On June 26, 2015, Kuwait announced an official day of mourning after a bomb blast tore through the Shiite Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait's capital during Friday prayers, killing at least 27 people and wounding at least 220 others. The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group's branch called "Welayet Najd" claimed responsibility for what it called a suicide bombing.
• The IS-affiliate in Yemen claimed responsibility for a series of bombings targeting four mosques in the Yemeni capital Sana'a in June 2015, killing a total 32 people and wounding about 98 others.
The first blast hit the Hashoush Mosque in the neighborhood of Al-Jaraf, which harbors several headquarters of the Shiite Houthi rebels, the most important of which is the Political Bureau of the group.
Another bomb exploded near the Qatina Mosque in the same neighborhood.
The third attack was conducted by a car bomb in front of the Green Dome Mosque in the middle of the capital. The fourth bombing targeted the Al-Kabsi Mosque in Sana'a. All the mosques were located in densely populated areas.
• On January 1, 2015, the IS terrorist group blew up the historic Sultan Wiss Mosque in the district of Farouk, Nineveh province, with a number of improvised explosives. This mosque dates back to 1838 and was one of the oldest historic mosques in Nineveh.
• The extremist group also destroyed the shrine-mosque of Prophet Younis in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul – built 1,300 years ago – amid popular discontent in the city.
• Egypt witnessed one of the deadliest attacks in its modern history on November 24, when 305 people were killed and 128 injured as unidentified militants attacked a crowded mosque in the Rawdah village during Friday prayers in the Sinai Peninsula, setting off explosives and spraying worshippers with gunfire.