The world woke up to news of the horrific Istanbul nightclub shooting on the very first day of the 2017. A gunman opened fire on New Year’s Eve revellers at the Reina nightclub in the Turkish city, killing at least 39 and injuring dozens.
The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. The ominous start to the year was a sign of things to come, with terror being relentlessly inflicted upon parts of the world as the year rolled by.
Suicide bombings in the Middle East, unrest in Nigeria, gun attacks in the US and European countries, and attacks on Indian soil – terror appeared to further tighten its hold on the world in 2017.
Here is a quick look at a few terror attacks that shook the world this year.
Mass Shootings Terrorise US
According to reports, 2017 has been the deadliest year for mass shootings in the US.
The first of these attacks was reported in January.
6 January 2017: At least five people were killed and several injured after a gunman – identified as Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago – opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida, US.
Santiago, who grew up in Puerto Rico, later pleaded not guilty to the attack.
When Terror Strikes Closer Home
The year saw India witness two major terrorist attacks, including one believed to be the first strike by terror outfit ISIS in the country.
7 March 2017: At least nine people were injured in an explosion inside a general coach of a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train. Later, MP Home Minister, Bhupendra Singh told ANI that the bomb had been planted by ISIS. “The train blast was by ISIS terrorists. They even sent photo of the planted bomb to Syria,” he said.
10 July 2017: Even places of worship were not spared from the horrors of terror. Suspected militants attacked a bus carrying passengers near Anantnag, killing at least seven Amaranth pilgrims.
The Lashkar-e-Taiba claimed responsibility for the attack, said to be the worst on the Amarnath Yatra since 2000. Condemning the attack, PM Narendra Modi said: “India will never get bogged down by such cowardly attacks and the evil designs of hate. My thoughts are with all those who lost their loved one in the attack in Jammu and Kashmir. My prayers with the injured”.
Tentacles of Terror Spread to Europe and Russia
The year 2017 will also go down as one where terrorists targeted crowded places to carry out attacks – as witnessed in several countries.
22 March 2017: London was rocked by terror after a car smashed into pedestrians and the attacker stabbed a policeman near Westminster Bridge, killing at least five people and injuring over 40. The ISIS later claimed responsibility for the attack.
3 April 2017: Akbarzhon Jalilov, a 22-year-old from Kyrgyzstan, was identified as the suspect who carried out a suicide bombing at a St Petersburg subway station in Russia. At least 14 people were killed in the attack.
22 May 2017: A suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester claimed the lives of at least 22 people, and injured over 50. The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.
3 June 2017:
"“It is time to say enough is enough”." - Theresa May
These were the words of UK Prime Minister Theresa May after seven people were killed in a terror attack in London. Attackers rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and went on a stabbing spree, claiming seven lives. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the incident.
Year Ends on a Tragic Note
The second half of the year witnessed the strike on London’s tube train, the Las Vegas concert attack, a truck bombing in Mogadishu, the shooting at a Baptist church in Texas, an attack on a mosque in Egypt and a shooting at the Peshawar Agricultural Institute in Pakistan, to name a few of the long list of terror strikes.
According to the report by Global Terrorism Index, there is a “global decline in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks to 25,673 people, which is a 22 percent improvement from the peak in 2014”.
Although the terror-related deaths are believed to have declined in recent years, the terror menace is still very real.
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