At least 60 people died and hundreds were injured when three militants attacked a police training academy in Pakistan’s Quetta city late Monday night. Two attackers blew themselves up while the third was gunned down by Pakistani troops.
This was not the first time Quetta had witnessed such a tragedy. Located about eight miles from the city center, the academy has been attacked twice in the past.
The year has been witness to multiple terror attacks with USA Today saying 2016 has been marred by “near daily terror attacks all over the world” and this was just halfway through the year. Iraq remained the country most afflicted by terrorism.
The following were the biggest terror attacks in 2016 so far, in terms of casualties.
1. Karrada bombing, July 2016:
A vehicle filled with explosives detonated just outside a shopping center in a primarily Shiite area in Baghdad’s Karrada neighborhood, leaving at least 292 people dead. The attack was described as the worst to hit Iraq’s capital in the 10 years during which the country has experienced war and insurgency.
The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attack which occurred just before the end of the holy Ramadan season.
2. Sharaban twin bombing, January 2016:
Two bomb blasts in Sharaban in northern Iraq led to deaths of at least 100 people. The two bombs targeted a tea shop and the Nazanda Khatun Mosque. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks shortly after they took place.
Local media reports said the second blast occurred as security personnel and civilians rushed to help those injured in the first blast.
3. Baghdad car bombing, May 2016:
A series of car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital killed at least 90 people. ISIS claimed responsibility for the largest blast which occurred at a marketplace in the Shiite neighbourhood of Sadr City. That blast alone killed at least 63 people.
Two other blasts also targeted Shiite areas. One blast occurred in Kadhimiya district located in the northern part of the city which is also home to one of the main Shia Islamic shrines and the other in the Jamia neighborhood of central Baghdad.
4. Nice attack, July 2016:
A lorry that slammed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day killed at least 84 people including over 10 children in Nice in southern France. The driver was identified as a 31-year-old French-Tunisian called Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel.
Bouhlel also wounded over 202 people in his attack before he was gunned down by French police. ISIS took responsibility for the attack and called Bouhlel “one of the soldiers of Islamic State.”
5. Kabul twin blasts, July 2016:
Two ISIS fighters blew themselves up during a demonstration by members of Afghanistan’s Shiite Hazara minority in Kabul, killing at least 80 people and injuring over 230. This was one of the deadliest attacks Kabul had witnessed since U.S.-led forces attempted to oust the Taliban in 2001.
Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency, the National Directorate for Security, said the attack was planned by Abu Ali, an ISIS militant who was based in Nangarhar province. They also said three bombers were involved in the attack.
6. Quetta hospital attack, August 2016:
A bomb blast at a hospital in Quetta, Pakistan, left at least 70 people dead and over 120 injured. After the blast, unidentified men opened fire as Pakistan’s Frontier Corps and Quetta police arrived at the Civil Hospital.
Pakistani officials blamed India’s intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing, for the attack. But a faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Two journalists were also killed in the attack.