According to definition terrorism means the use of violence to pursue political aims, violence has always been used to oppress, conquer and control people by creating fear in their hearts and minds.
With the advent of technology terrorist attacks have become more deadly, constant wars and conflicts have given rise to extremist groups who use terrorist attacks as their main weapon. Even though the war on terrorism has been going for more than a decade but terrorism is still on the rise.
Here is the list of top ten most deadly terrorist attack in recent history.
10. Bentalha Massacre
Bentalha is a village 15 kilometers south of Algiers and it was the scene of a brutal massacre which killed almost 400 people. The massacre happened on the night between September 22 and 23, 1997, armed guerrilla fighters attacked the village from all sides and killed the villagers including women and babies.
The Armed Islamic Group claimed the responsibility of the massacre, the survivors of the massacre claimed that the armed forces were present at town borders but they did not try to stop the massacre. Instead they stopped people who were trying to escape and forced them to return to the village.
9. Rais Massacre
The massacre of Rais is one of the worst terrorist attacks in Algiers and it happened a month before the Bentalha attack, this massacre was also committed by the GIA. According to estimates by different media outlets and human rights organisations the death toll of Rais massacre ranged from 200 to 800 deaths.
On the night of August 29, 1997 attackers came in trucks and cars, they were armed with shotguns, knives and axes. They killed men, women, children and even animals, they also kidnapped 20 young women.
8. Gamboru Ngala Attack
Gamboru and Ngala are twin towns of Borno State in Nigeria, almost 315 people were killed in an attack by the extremist group Boko Haram. The group continued to kill people and burn their homes for almost 12 hours. After killing 336 people Boko Haram also kidnapped eight girls on the same night.
The members of Boko Haram arrived at the towns on two armored vehicles, motorcycles and trucks and were armed with AK-47s and RPGs. Although there was a security garrison in Gamboru Ngala, they had left the town on reports that the location of the kidnapped Chibok Schoolgirls was found. It was found out later that Boko Haram had spread the rumour intentionally.
7. Iraq Attacks July 2013
Violence in Iraq had decreased after 2007 but in December 2012 protests began against the government and the country was swept by a wave of sectarian violence. The war in Syria has strengthened the insurgents which increased their activities in Iraq.
In the month of July, 2013, Iraq suffered a series of car bombs and suicide attacks killing 389 people and injuring more than 700 people. The attacks of July happened only a month after the most violent week in the last five years in Iraq.
6. Massacre of Trujillo
The massacre of Trujillo happened between 1988 and 1994 in Colombia’s Valle del Cauca Department, the responsibility of the massacre was taken by the paramilitary and the Cali Cartel. The Colombian police and military also cooperated with the paramilitaries.
According to estimates a total of 400 people were killed in the massacre, unionists and supporters of guerrillas were dismembered and killed. The massacre was committed to teach the lesson and give warning to other pro-guerilla elements.
5. Cinema Rex Fire
The cinema rex fire incident happened on August 19, 1978 in the city of Abadan, Iran. Militants surrounded the cinema and then stormed through the doors, they doused the whole building with gasoline and then set it on fire.
The Shah of Iran blamed the Iranian secret service SAVAK for this incident but later it was found out that Islamic militants were behind the incident. A total of 422 people lost their lives in the incident. Since all exits to the building were closed everyone inside the cinema was killed.
4. Iraq Attacks May 2013
The month of may in 2013 was one of the worst years in Iraq since 2007 when violence was steadily decreasing. From 15 May to 21 May there was a series of bombings which shook the entire country. The bombings caused 449 causalities on a whole.
The war in Syria has strengthened the insurgents and they started to commit acts of terrorism in the country with a new fervor. A total of nine car bombs hit Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq which killed 23 people and injured 108 others.
3. 2007 Yazidi Communities Bombings
The Yazidi communities attacks killed almost 500 people in the towns of Kahtaniya and Jazeera near Mosul, Iraq. On August 14, 2007 four suicide bombs were detonated with coordination which killed 500 people and injured 1,500 others.
The attack involved three cars and a fuel tank, according to reports almost two tons of explosives were used. The explosions destroyed an entire neighborhood and trapped many people under the rubble. Although al-Qaeda was blamed for the attacks but they never took responsibility.
2. 1990 Massacre of Sri Lankan Police Officers
The massacre of of Sri Lankan police officers happened on June 11, 1990 in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Over 600 unarmed police officers were killed by the members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Some independent organisations estimated that the death toll was more than 770.
The Tamil rebels opposed the presence of the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka which had arrived in July 1987. The LTTE surrounded the police station of Batticaloa and kidnapped 3 policemen, then 250 armed rebels came and occupied the station.
1. 9/11 Attacks
The attacks on the twin towers of World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 were the deadliest terrorist attack in history, these were also the deadliest terrorist attack on US soil. Although al-Qaeda was considered responsible for the attacks, Osama Bin Laden never claimed responsibility.
A total of 2,996 people were killed in the attacks when 15 terrorists hijacked three planes and flew two of them into the World Trade Center and on into the Pentagon building. The attacks were also extremely fatal towards the rescue services as more than 900 firefighters and police officers also lost their lives.