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10 of the Worst Terrorist Attacks In World History

6. The Beslan school siege, also the deadliest school shooting in human history, started on 1 September 2004 and lasted three days. The terrorists kept more than 1,000 people as hostages including 777 children, and the mayhem ended up with 334 deaths. They deprived the hostages of food and water so some of them even resorted to drinking urine.

Beslan School Siege
Image credit: Voilokmaikop via thelawcodex

The terrorists took over a school in Beslan, a Russian city in North Caucasus. The attackers that were linked to separatist insurgency particularly targeted young students of primary and secondary grades.

The attack began on 1 September in the morning when students, teachers, parents, and relatives had gathered to celebrate the opening day of the new school year.

The threat of explosives prompted the Russian Special Forces to infiltrate the gymnasium where the terrorist kept the hostages. The same explosives killed most of the hostages.

The Special Forces terminated all but one of the 32 terrorists, Nur-Pashi Kulayev.

Riyadus-Salikhim, a Chechen libertarian group led by Shamil Basayev, claimed the responsibility for the entire chaos. The mob had conducted similar acts of terrorism and murders before the Beslan school siege.

The event forced Russian President Vladimir Putin to introduce new and effective counterterrorism laws. (Source)

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7. On 3 July 2016, the capital city Bagdad witnessed the Karrada bombing, the deadliest single attack to hit Iraq since 2003. ISIS detonated a truck bomb and a car bomb in a shopping center mostly populated by Shia Muslims. The explosions killed nearly 300 civilians and injured hundreds more on the celebrations marking the end of Ramadan.

ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq, and Syria took the blame for the bombings. The first bomb exploded at the al-Hadi Centre at Karrada district, Bagdad. The suicide vehicle was a refrigerator van packed with explosives. The explosion shattered the shopping mall and surrounding buildings.

The entire place was engulfed in flames and many bodies of the victims were burned so bad that were unrecognizable. The blast happened at midnight, killing Shia Muslim families in the nearby area.

The Interior Minister, Mohammad Ghabban, claimed that the vehicle came from the eastern province of Diyala. Also, the Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, discharged three officials in charge of the capital’s security.

Another bomb detonated in the suburb of Sha’ab and killed at least five civilians.

ISIS considers the Shia sect of Muslims as heretical, therefore they see them as a primary target in most of their terrorist attacks. (1, 2)

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8. Sikh terrorists were accused of blowing up an Air India Flight 182 flying from Montreal to Delhi in 1985 killing 329 passengers on board. The event was the largest mass murder in Canadian history. However, only one criminal was ever charged with the bombings, and the rest of them were never discovered.

Air India Flight 182
A victim of the Air India Flight 182 bombing is removed from Cork Airport on a stretcher in June 1985. Image credit: irishtimes

Air India Flight 182 exploded off the coast of Ireland on 23 June 1985. The flight was supposed to fly from Toronto to London and finally to Mumbai.

Canadian officials removed three suspicious bags at Montreal where the flight had a routine stop. It departed from Canada, and just 45 minutes before its landing in London, the jet fragmented into pieces in mid-air. No warnings or emergency calls were issued, and the plane just disappeared from the radar screen.

None of the individuals survived on board, and only 131 bodies were recovered from the sea.

The bombings were the results of violent civil unrest between the Sikh and Hindu communities in India in the 1980s.

After five months, two suspects of the bombings were convicted. Indian police released Talwinder Singh Parmar without charges, and Inderjeet Singh Reyat was sentenced to five years of prison in 2003.

In 2006, Canada also appointed a commission to carry out an inquiry about the incident but it was no significant help. (Source)

9. In 1978, four terrorists burned 420 movie-goers alive in the Rex Theatre in Iran. A total of 700 were present at the show to watch The Deer, a 1974 drama. The four men barred the doors in the theatre lobby and spilled a solution of paint thinner and cooking oil on the doorways. Then they flicked a match into the hall resulting in a massive blaze.

Rex Theatre in Iran
Image credits: ir.voanews.com

The four terrorists left the movie earlier right at 10 in the night. The carefully planned burndown became the deadliest terrorist attack until the 9/11 attacks.

Reports claim that 320 people managed to escape the theatre, but around 370 to 420 of them died. The deaths were either caused by suffocation, incineration, or they were just trampled in the attempt to escape.

Even the fire department arrived late at the scene and also struggled to activate fire hydrants. It took them six long hours to put out the flames only to find skeletal remains of the fire victims.

The Iranian government blamed the Islamist or Marxist radicals for the attack.

In 1980, Hossein Takbalizadeh confessed that he and his friends were responsible for the incident. He said they were inspired by a local cleric, and they lit the theatre as a symbol of corrupt Western culture. (Source)

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10. The infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 on the two World Trade Center buildings in New York City were the deadliest terrorist attacks in American History. The incident claimed almost 3,000 lives and caused huge losses to the country.

9-11 WTC
Image credits: Michael Foran/Wikimedia

All 19 of the terrorists were linked to al-Qaeda. A multinational terrorist group. They hijacked four planes on 9 September and executed a suicidal crashing into four US buildings.

The North Tower of the World Trade Centre was the first target of the attack. At 8:45 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 hit the tower. After 18 minutes of this crash, the attackers crashed another plane into the South Tower using United Airlines 175.

At first, the incident seemed like a fatal accident, but as soon as the second tower went down, it was clear that it was a terrorist attack.

Millions of citizens watched as the third plane, Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon Military Headquarters in Washington, D.C. at 9:45 a.m. and killed 125 military personnel and civilians. The deceased included 64 passengers on the hijacked flight.

The fourth plane missed its target although it killed 44 on board when it plunged into a rural field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m.

A total of 2,996 people from 78 different countries died because of attacks including the 19 suicidal hijackers. (1, 2)

Also read: 10 Insane Crimes That Happened in Diners

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