The Worst Terror Attacks Of 2016
Terror attacks continued to plague the world in 2016, claiming the lives of thousands, and disturbing world peace and unity. One of the leading causes of terrorism is a social and political injustice, where a particular community resorts to violence as a way of righting a wrong which affected or continues to affect their community. Religion extremism and indoctrination were also forces behind some the terrorist attacks, particularly in the Islam community. Terror attacks in 2016 were also retaliation against the arrest of terror suspects as well as offensives on a particular terror group’s base. The main groups which carried out attacks in 2016 were the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which is also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al-Qaeda, Boko-Haram, Jemaah Islamiya, Al-Shabaab, and Lashkar-E-Jhangvi.
Karrada Bombing In Baghdad
On July 3, 2016, a truck loaded with explosives exploded in a busy marketplace in Karrada District, Baghdad. The targets for the attacks were the Iraqi Shias concentrated in the district. The attacks led to the death of more than 300 people and injured over 225 others. The bombings also caused severe damage to several buildings on that due to the subsequent fire caused by the explosion. The buildings further lacked emergency exits thus increasing the number of casualties. The terror group behind the attack was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Car Bombing Attacks In Baghdad
On May 11, 2016, a series of car bombs exploded in and near the Iraq capital of Baghdad. The attack was masterminded of ISIS, and it left more than 100 people dead and another 165 wounded. The attacks were directed at Shia neighborhoods in Sadr, Hurriya, and Kadhimiya.
An estimated 85 people died in Nice, Southern France when a lorry plowed into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day on July 14, 2016. The crowd was watching a fireworks display and over 200 people were wounded. The attacker was identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a French-Tunisian, who also used a gun to fires shots before he was gunned down by the police. ISIS claimed the attacker was one of the group’s followers.
Kabul Twin Blasts
Two explosions went off in Kabul, Afghanistan on July 23, 2016, leaving more than 80 people dead and other 260 casualties. The attack took place in a Hazara crowd which had gathered to agitate for the passage of a multi-million-dollar power line through the Bamiyan Province. The province is one of the most infrastructure-starved regions in the country, and it is home to a large Hazara population. The attacks were executed by three suicide bombers, but the third bomber was gunned down by police. The attack was coordinated by the Islamic State on an anti-Shi’ism campaign.
Quetta Hospital Bomb Blast
On August 8, 2016, a suicide bomb attack in a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan left more than70 people dead and another 120 injured. Two groups claimed responsibility for the assault on the government hospital namely the Islamic State and the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. The latter is affiliated to the Tehrik-I-Taliban Pakistan. The attack was aimed at a crowd of mourning lawyers, who had congregated at the hospital’s emergency department after their colleague; Bilal Anwar Kasi was shot dead by an unidentified attacker. The bomb attack was followed by shooting, and several journalists were injured as well.
March 22, 2016, was a dark day for Brussels, Belgium, as two explosions went off at Brussels Airport while another exploded in the Metro Station. One of the bombs in the airport targeted the departure lounge and another in the check-in area. A third bomb was discovered and destroyed by authorities. An hour later, a third bomb was detonated in the middle carriage of a train at the Maelbeek Metro Station on the Brussels subway. Numerous European Union institutions are situated in proximity to the station. The attacks were executed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Lahore Suicide Bomb
On March 27, 2016, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a park in Lahore, Pakistan. The attack's targets were Christians celebrating Easter. About 75 people died, most of whom were women and children and 340 others were injured. Most of the victims had arranged a queue to buy train rides. Of the dead, 61 were identified as Muslims while 14 were Christians. The attack was executed by the Jammat-ul-Ahrar terror group which released a statement after to say it was targeting men of the Christian community.
Syria Bomb Blasts
On May 23, 2016, eight bombs exploded in the cities of Jableh and Tartus leaving 184 people dead and over 200 others injured. The coastal cities, in the course of the Syrian Civil War, have remained loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad. A Russian naval base lies in Tartus, as Russia is a major ally of the Syrian President. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was behind the attack which targeted civilians. The bombs targeted a government hospital in Jableh as well as bus stations in both of the cities.
Orlando Nightclub Shooting
A single shooter carried out an attack in a nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016. The attacker, identified as Omar Mateen, went on a shooting rampage in a gay nightclub known as Pulse, which left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. The attack was termed as the deadliest to target the LGBT community in the United States. Omar Mateen was subsequently killed by police after a three-hour long standoff. He had sworn allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
International Policies To Combat Terror
In 2016, numerous countries issued travel warnings to their citizens for some high-risk areas in regards to tourism. Nations have tightened their border security as well as redrafted their immigration policies to discourage extremism. Regional organizations including the European Union have facilitated joint efforts between member states to combat terrorism. Countries have resorted to the multilateral exchange of ideas as well as information on terrorism concerns. Countries across the world have also attempted to improve their intelligence capabilities to prevent terrorism acts.