A year of vehicle attacks


Alan McGuinness and Sunita Patel-Carstairs, News Reporters

The Barcelona attack has echoes of a number of atrocities that have hit several European countries in just over a year.

14 July 2016

Using large vehicles in attacks has the potential to cause mass casualties, a fact that was laid bare in horrifying fashion in the French city in July 2016.

Tunisian extremist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel ploughed a 19-tonne truck into crowds gathered to celebrate Bastille Day, killing 86 people and injuring scores more before he was shot dead.

Islamic State claimed it was behind the attack.

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Berlin Christmas Market attack

19 December 2016

A Christmas market in the German capital was targeted five months later by an attacker driving a hijacked lorry.

Anis Amri rammed into shoppers marking the festive season, killing 12 people and injuring more than 50 others.

After fleeing the scene, he was killed in a shoot-out with Italian police in Milan four days later.

Witnesses described the truck driving through wooden huts serving hot wine and food, sending people flying.

Again, IS claimed it was behind the attack in the wake of the atrocity.

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Police at the scene of the Westminster Bridge terror attack

22 March 2017

Khalid Masood drove a hire car across Westminster Bridge, killing four pedestrians on the pavement and injuring dozens more.

After crashing his vehicle into railings close to Westminster station, Masood ran into Parliament Square and fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer.

The attack in March, which lasted just 82 seconds, came to an end when Masood was shot in the chest by an armed officer.

7 April 2017

Rakhmat Akilov deliberately drove a stolen beer lorry into crowds along Drottninggatan in the Swedish capital in April.

Four people were killed and another 15 injured.

Among the victims was 41-year-old Briton Chris Bevington. A Belgian national and two Swedes also died.

Security services have said Akilov expressed sympathies with extremist organisations, including Islamic State, but that he had not been viewed as a militant threat.

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The hijacked lorry used in the terrorist attack in Stockholm

3 June 2016
London Bridge

Less than a fortnight after the horrific Manchester Arena bombing left 22 people dead, terror struck again in London.

Three terrorists drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out and running into Borough Market.

Rachid Redouane, Khuram Butt and Youssef Zaghba – who were all wearing fake explosive vests – started stabbing people with long knives as those caught up in the attack ran away and tried to barricade themselves inside bars and restaurants.

Eight minutes after the first emergency calls were made, armed police shot the attackers dead.

19 June, 2017
Finsbury Park

A man died and several other people were injured after a van was driven into a group of worshippers outside a north London mosque.

The vehicle hit pedestrians near Finsbury Park Mosque as they left Ramadan night prayers around midnight.

A man was charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder.

9 August 2017

Police shot and arrested a man after he rammed his BMW into a group of a dozen soldiers – injuring six of them – in the west of the city before speeding off.

The 37-year-old man was later stopped on a motorway north of Paris following the attack, which was condemned by authorities as an “odious act of aggression”.

The soldiers were attacked as they left their barracks for duty as part of Operation Sentinelle, created to guard prominent French sites after the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015.

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A woman injured in the Charlottesville attack is carried away from the scene

12 August, 2017

A car ploughed into peaceful counter-protesters during a white supremacist rally.

Heather Heyer, 32, who had been crossing the street, died when she was struck by the grey Dodge Challenger.

More than a dozen others were injured after they were sent flying in the air by the impact.

The rally by far-right activists was organised to protest against the city authorities’ decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee from the city.

A 20-year-old suspect was charged with second degree murde, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count related to leaving the scene.

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