Deadly Islamist attacks in Europe since 2004

22nd March 2016, Comments 0 comments

At least 26 people were killed and dozens wounded in a series of attacks in Brussels on Tuesday, described as a strike on the very heart of Europe.

The bombings at Brussels airport and a metro station in the city that is home to the European Union and NATO are the latest in a string of attacks on the continent since the Madrid train bombings in 2004.

Europe has been on high alert for Islamist violence since a jihadist rampage in Paris in January 2015 that targeted a satirical weekly and a Jewish supermarket.

Here is a recap:

- March 22, 2016: BELGIUM: At least 11 people are killed in two blasts at Zavantam airport in Brussels, with the federal prosecutor saying that one was probably caused by a suicide bomber. Another 15 people lose their lives in a third explosion at the Maalbeek metro station close to EU headquarters.

- November 13, 2015, FRANCE: Islamic State (IS) group jihadists armed with assault rifles and explosives strike a France-Germany football match, Paris cafes, and the Bataclan concert hall in a coordinated assault that leaves 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded, the deadliest attack of its kind in French history. The main fugitive suspect, Belgian-born Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, is arrested in Belgium just days before Tuesday's Brussels attacks.

- February 14, 2015, DENMARK: Omar El-Hussein, 22, a Dane of Palestinian origin, opens fire at a Copenhagen cultural centre that was hosting a debate on Islam and free speech. A Danish filmmaker is killed and three policemen wounded. The gunman later kills a Jewish security guard outside a synagogue and wounds two more police officers. El-Hussein is shot dead by police a few hours later.

- January 7-9, 2015, FRANCE: Two men armed with Kalashnikov rifles storm the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly known for caricatures of Islam and other religions. They kill 12 people including eight cartoonists and journalists as well as two police officers, before fleeing. The following day, a policewoman is killed just outside Paris. Another four people are killed when a gunman takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket. The attackers, who claim allegiance to Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, are killed in separate gun battles with police.

- May 24, 2014, BELGIUM: A gunman opens fire at the Jewish museum in Brussels, killing four people, including two Israeli tourists. Franco-Algerian suspect Mehdi Nemmouche is later arrested in France and extradited to Belgium.

- March 11-19, 2012, FRANCE: Mohamed Merah, 23, kills three soldiers in Toulouse and Montauban, southern France, and then kills three Jewish children and a teacher at a school in Toulouse. Merah, a self-described Al-Qaeda sympathiser, is shot dead by police on March 22 after a 32-hour siege of his apartment.

- July 7, 2005, BRITAIN: Four suicide bombers blow themselves up in coordinated attacks on London's underground rail network and a bus, leaving 52 people dead and 700 wounded. The attacks, the worst on British territory since the bombing of a US plane over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, were claimed by Al-Qaeda.

- March 11, 2004, SPAIN: A dozen shrapnel-filled bombs explode on four commuter trains heading for Madrid's Atocha station, leaving 191 dead and about 2,000 injured. The coordinated attacks were claimed by militants who said they had acted on Al-Qaeda's behalf in retaliation for Spain's involvement in the US-led invasion of Iraq. The seven chief suspects committed suicide on April 3, 2004, by blowing themselves up in an apartment near Madrid, also killing a policeman.

© 2016 AFP

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