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News / Nation & World

Wave of terror attacks strikes Europe in recent years

By Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Published: March 22, 2017, 9:56pm
2 Photos
A police officer is led away by a colleague at the scene of Wednesday&#039;s attack near Britain&#039;s Houses of Parliament in London. Five people were killed when an assailant in a car mowed down pedestrians and later stabbed a police officer.
A police officer is led away by a colleague at the scene of Wednesday's attack near Britain's Houses of Parliament in London. Five people were killed when an assailant in a car mowed down pedestrians and later stabbed a police officer. (stefan rousseau/PA via AP) Photo Gallery

An apparent terrorist attack Wednesday outside British Parliament came one year after suicide bombings at the Brussels airport and a Metro station in Belgium.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Belgium assaults on March 22, 2016, which left 32 people dead and more than 300 injured.

The London attack, which left five people dead and many more injured, was the latest in a series of prominent assaults in European cities in recent years. In addition to London and Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Nice have been among the targets.

Here are summaries of some of the other attacks:

DEC. 19, 2016: Berlin

A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring dozens. The assailant, Anis Amri, a Tunisian whose asylum application had been rejected, hijacked the truck and killed the driver before storming through the market. Four days after the attack, he was killed in a shootout with police near Milan, Italy.

JULY 14, 2016: Nice, France

Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a Tunisian-born French citizen, plowed through a crowd with an 18-ton truck during Bastille Day celebrations. More than 80 people were killed in what was then the third major terrorist attack on French soil in 19 months. Bouhlel was killed in a shootout with French security forces.

NOV. 13, 2015: Paris

More than 130 people were killed and hundreds injured in a series of shootings, explosions and suicide bombings at a football stadium, several eateries and in the Bataclan theater during a concert. The assailants in the theater blew themselves up or were shot as security forces raided the venue. Salah Abdeslam, a Belgium-born French national of Moroccan descent, was accused of involvement in the attack. He was arrested about four months later in Belgium after a massive manhunt.

AUG. 21, 2015: Arras, France

A heavily armed gunman opened fire on a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. The train had just crossed the border from Belgium into France when the suspect, Moroccan national Ayoub El Khazzani, fired into a train car before being subdued by passengers, including three Americans, one of whom was stabbed. No one was killed.

JUNE 26, 2015: Saint- Quentin-Fallavier, France

Yassine Salhi, a French delivery man, decapitated his employer before driving his van into gas cylinders at a gas factory in this city near Lyon. Almost a dozen people were injured in the resulting explosion. Salhi was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder linked to terrorism.

JAN. 8, 2015: Paris

In slayings connected to the assault at Charlie Hebdo the day before, suspect Amedy Coulibaly killed a policewoman before attacking a supermarket, leaving four hostages dead. Coulibaly was later fatally shot by police.

JAN. 7, 2015: Paris

Twelve people were killed when two brothers, Cherif and Said Kouachi, armed with assault rifles and other weapons, forced their way into the offices of the French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The victims included a French national police officer outside the building. The brothers were later caught after hiding out in a printing warehouse in the north of Paris and killed by French security forces.

MAY 22, 2013: London

British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death on a London street. He was off duty and walking outside his barracks when Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale struck him with a car before attacking him with knives and a cleaver. The assailants, both British citizens of Nigerian descent, were shot by police and arrested.