The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

2015 has seen six terror attacks deadlier than Paris

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Last Friday's coordinated attacks on the streets of Paris claimed the lives of 129 people and wounded hundreds more. It was the deadliest day in France since World War II, and one of the deadliest terror attacks in a Western nation ever.

Four days later, a bombing in Nigeria killed 32 people and wounded 80. Since Jan. 1, Nigeria has seen over 30 terror attacks, including bombings and mass shootings. Two of those attacks killed more people than died in Paris.

Over the weekend, an old news story about a terror attack in Kenya circulated as though it was new. There are a lot of reasons why, including that the attack at the Kenyan university, which killed nearly 150, hadn't received as much social media attention when it first went around. It was news in the sense that it was new to a lot of people.

Since Jan. 1, there have been at least 21 terror attacks around the world in which 50 or more people have been killed. Six of those attacks killed more people than died last Friday in France. This is probably news to a lot of people.

Here are all of those attacks, showing the number of people killed (blue circles) and injured (yellow).

The seven deadliest:

  1. Baga, Nigeria, Jan. 7. 2,000 killed
  2. Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, Oct. 31. 224 killed
  3. Garissa, Kenya, April 1. 147 killed
  4. Kobani, Syria, June 25. 146 killed
  5. Maiduguri, Nigeria, Sept. 20. 145 killed
  6. Sana'a, Yemen, March 20. 137 killed
  7. Paris, France, Nov. 13. 129 killed

We're (sadly) used to hearing about attacks in the Middle East, for good or bad. Since Jan. 1, there have been four attacks in Iraq that killed over 280 people. One in Kabul killed 50. The plane bombing that's now linked to the Islamic State killed more than 200. (This data, indexed by Wikipedia, excludes traditional military conflicts.)

But the presence of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria has also resulted in a series of bombings and shootings. The largest was attack in Baga which may have killed as many as 2,000 people. (The university attack in Kenya was tied to Al-Shabaab, another extremist group.)

The number of major terror attacks, in other words, is much larger than we might realize. And 2015 isn't yet over.