6. Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt – 9 April
St George’s Church goers in Tanta were in the middle of chanting the liturgy on Palm Sunday, but their tranquil recital soon turned to screams when a lone wolf rapidly ran to the altar and detonated an explosive belt, taking 27 people’s lives and injuring 78 more. Another device exploded later at Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria, murdering 17 people and injuring 48. The two attacks on Christianity were reportedly carried out by a security detachment of ISIS.
7. Aleppo, Syria – April 15
A heartless suicide bomber tempted children – many of whom had been deprived of food for years – towards him by offering them crisps before detonating his explosives in Aleppo, shattering coaches, setting cars on fire and leaving a trail of bodies. News outlets reported that some 80 young people, as well as about 46 others, were murdered by the explosion which was described as the deadliest incident in Syria in almost a year.
8. Camp Shaheen, Afghanistan – 21 April 2017
In April 2017, Taliban fighters, wearing army uniforms and driving two military vehicles, drove into the Afghan National Army base, claiming to have wounded soldiers in need of urgent medical care. In the single deadliest attack on an Afghan military base in the course of the war, two of ten attackers detonated suicide vests, while the other eight were killed in the ensuing gun battle. Reportedly, as many as 256 people died and 160 were injured in what was described as “revenge” for the death of two Taliban officials.
9. Hama, Syria – 18 May
ISIS militants beheaded and dismembered dozens of men, women and children in a horrific attack on several Syrian villages, tragically leaving 52 people dead. The deadly attacks in the central Hama province targeted villages where most residents belong to the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam, which ISIS believe to be heretical.
10. Brak El-Shati, Libya – 20 May
Government-allied militia fighters launched a barbaric attack on a military airbase in Libya, killing 141 people, including both soldiers and civilians who worked at Brak al-Shati. Prime minister Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj’s office denied ordering the attack, which breached an informal truce between rival forces. LNA spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari spoke of the brutality of the day afterward, saying: “The soldiers were returning from a military parade. They weren’t armed. Most of them were executed.”