1. Sadr City, Baghdad – 2 January
The new year was brought in with suicide bombing in Baghdad’s Sadr City district. An ISIS fighter lured innocent labourers close to a busy market, promising them work before blowing up the area, killing 56 people and injuring more than 120 others. The attack followed on from frequent bombings on Shia areas in Baghdad which target crowded areas to maximise casualties.
2. Gao, Mali – 18 JanuaryAs “punishment” for cooperating with France, Al Qaeda’s North African affiliate launched a suicide bomb attack on a military camp, home to Malian soldiers and hundreds of former fighters who had signed a peace agreement with the government. Their efforts murdered 77 people, making it the deadliest terrorist attack in Malian history.
3. Mosul, Iraq – 8 FebruaryOver 300 police, army personnel and civil activists were executed by an ISIS firing squad for unknown crimes. According to Iraqi army regional spokesman, Mahmoud Souraji, many of the victims were tortured by foreign-born jihadists before their untimely deaths.
4. Sehwan, Pakistan – 16 February
In what many news outlets described as Pakistan’s “deadliest attack in more than two years”, a suicide bomber struck a crowded Sufi shrine, killing at least 75 people including women and children and injuring hundreds in Sehwan. One of the country’s oldest and most revered shrines was targeted just as Sufi Muslims – who ISIS deem as heretical – gathered to perform the peaceful dhamaal ritual on the sacred Thursday.
5. Kabul, Afghanistan – 8 March, Kabul
ISIS terrorists disguised as doctors in lab coats stormed Afghanistan’s largest military hospital in Kabul and battled security forces for seven hours, bombing patients and staff in the meantime. Survivors, who recalled “blood everywhere”, recounted harrowing stories of hiding under beds, holding their breath and attempting to escape through the hospital windows. By March 13 the unconfirmed death toll had surpassed 100, with an unknown number injured.
6. Tanta and Alexandria, Egypt – 9 AprilSt 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
8. Camp Shaheen, Afghanistan – 21 April 2017In 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 MayISIS 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 MayGovernment-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.”
11. Kabul, Afghanistan – 31 MayOn 31st May at 8.25am 1,500kg explosives were detonated in a vacuum truck which was parked on a street full of people going about their business in the peak of rush hour. The truck bomb, which killed over 150 innocent people, was so powerful, it created a crater about 4.5 metres deep and three to four metres wide. Although there has been much speculation, no terrorist group claimed responsibility for the massacre.
12. Hasakah, Syria – 2 MaySyrian refugees looking to escape the incessant violence gathered in Hasakah looking for safety but little did they know ISIS would follow them. Five suicide bombers detonated explosives before dawn followed by gun battles between the attackers and US-backed Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces. At least 37 Iraqi refugees killed and 100 more people were badly wounded.
13. Kabul, Afghanistan – 3 June
Terrorists struck at the heart of Afghanistan yet again in June, but this time things were different. Unknown perpetrators targeted the high-profile funeral of an Afghan protestor who died demanding the government’s resignation the day before. Seven people were murdered and more than 119 wounded at the event, which saw people gather together to mourn the deceased, yet ended only with others tragically losing their lives.
14. Pakistan – 23 JuneThe country of Pakistan was brought to devastation by ISIS – and Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan and Islamic State of Iraq, and the Levant, Khorasan Province – once again when a series of terrorist attacks took place in different areas. On the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, policemen were targeted in Quetta and Karachi, while civilians were attacked at a market in Parachinar. Survivors spoke of finding human flesh in the roads on a day where about 92 died and over 200 others suffered non-fatal injuries.
The frequent loss of innocent lives in the world due to any kind of terrorism is truly tragic. Perhaps only when we realise that all lives deserve the same amount of respect – regardless of race, religion or geographical location – can we truly begin to annihilate the menace of terrorism that hangs over our heads every day. Discover more about the daily terrorist attacks that take place across the world here.