Attacks on churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Sunday killed more than 200 people, making them among the deadliest acts of terrorism in the past five years.
A look at other recent deadly attacks shows that the Easter Sunday violence stands out in another way, too. The blasts in Sri Lanka were more coordinated and spread out — they occurred across three cities — than similar attacks in recent years, which are often more geographically concentrated.
October 2017 — Mogadishu, Somalia
Over 500 people were killed and 300 wounded in Somalia’s deadliest terrorist attack. Two truck bombs went off in the city; one was detonated near a fuel tanker, dramatically increasing the impact of the blast. Somali officials blamed the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.
November 2017 — Sinai, Egypt
A bomb-and-gun attack on a mosque in the Sinai Peninsula killed 305 people. At least one of the attackers reportedly was carrying a flag associated with the Islamic State terrorist group.
October 2015 — Sinai, Egypt
A Russian passenger plane was shot down Oct. 31, 2015. All 224 on board died. Russia said it was a “terrorist act,” and militants from an Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility, saying the attack was “in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land.”
July 2018 — Suweida, Syria
At least 215 people were killed in apparently coordinated suicide bombings in southwestern Syria. The Islamic State claimed credit for the attacks, which were the deadliest in government-controlled Syria in months.
July 2016 — Baghdad
A bombing in a shopping district of Baghdad killed at least 215 people and was the deadliest attack in years. The Islamic State claimed responsibility. The attack came toward the end of the Muslim holy month, Ramadan.
May 2017 — Kabul
An explosion in Kabul’s diplomatic quarter killed 150 people. At least 300 were injured. Afghan intelligence said the Haqqani network, a Taliban-aligned Pakistani group, was responsible.
May 2016 — Jableh and Tartus, Syria
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for explosions that killed nearly 150 on Syria’s Mediterranean coast (like the attacks on Sri Lanka, these blasts occurred in multiple cities, but they were in one part of the country).
January 2015 — Baga, Nigeria
On Jan. 3, 2015, Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group, entered the northern Nigerian fishing town of Baga and carried out a massacre. The exact number of dead is not known. As the BBC reported, claims varied from 150 to 2,000. One resident told Human Rights Watch, “No one stayed back to count bodies.”