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2017 is the worst year for IED harm in Egypt in the last 7 years

Today, November 24th 2017, around 40 militants attacked al-Rawdah Mosque in Bir-al Abed, Egypt. Reports have stated that the suspected Islamic State suicide bomb and gun attack on the mosque has resulted in at least 235 people killed and a further 100 injured.

The militants arrived in off-road vehicles and bombed the mosque before opening fire on fleeing worshippers.

It is one of the deadliest attacks in modern Egyptian history, with president Sisi declaring three days of mourning. Reports have also stated that the assailants set parked vehicles on fire in the vicinity to block off access to the mosque.

No group has yet claimed the event but the Sinai province, where the mosque is located, has become accustom to Islamic State attacks in recent months.

AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources. The number of IED casualties in Egypt peaked in 2015, with 755 casualties, including 453 civilians (60%). Last year, Egypt saw 360 killed and injured in IED attacks last year, of which 40% were civilians, accounting for 68% decrease in civilian casualties from IEDs.

However, this year has seen a significant rise in the amount of IED harm in Egypt. Between January and October 2017, AOAV recorded 365 deaths and injuries, of which 54% were civilians. Compared to the same period last year there was a 203% in civilian casualties from IED attacks. With the addition of the casualties from today’s attack the number of civilians killed and injured in IED attacks in 2017 so far, will exceed those recorded in 2015; making 2017 the worst year for civilian harm from IED attacks in Egypt since AOAV’s records began.

AOAV calls on all states to urgently address the threat of IED attacks. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.

For more on counter-IED initiatives, please see here.

To read AOAV’s latest report, Understanding the regional and transnational networks that facilitate IED use, please read here.