As New Zealand targeted, a look at deadly attacks on houses of worship
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As New Zealand targeted, a look at deadly attacks on houses of worship

In past decade, over a dozen armed assaults have been carried out by extremists targeting synagogues, mosques, shrines, and churches

A makeshift memorial stands outside the Tree of Life synagogue in the aftermath of a deadly shooting in Pittsburgh, on October 29, 2018 in which eleven Jews were killed while at Shabbat services. (AP/Matt Rourke)
A makeshift memorial stands outside the Tree of Life synagogue in the aftermath of a deadly shooting in Pittsburgh, on October 29, 2018 in which eleven Jews were killed while at Shabbat services. (AP/Matt Rourke)

Houses of worship around the world, a place of reflection and peace, have been targeted for attack by extremists. Here are some of the deadly assaults over the last decade:

Oct. 31, 2010: Al-Qaeda in Iraq attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 US-led invasion there. Al-Qaeda in Iraq later became the Islamic State group.

Dec. 15, 2010: Two suicide bombers from the Sunni extremist group Jundallah blow themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders.

Aug. 5, 2012: Six members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, were fatally shot by a white supremacist, Wade Michael Page. Page was shot by a responding officer and later killed himself.

A candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., Aug 6, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade)
A candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., Aug 6, 2012. (Photo courtesy of Overpass Light Brigade)

Nov. 18, 2014: Two Palestinians using axes, knives and a gun kill four Jewish worshipers and an Israeli police officer in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue.

Israeli emergency services members carry a body at the scene of an attack at a synagogue in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. (AFP /AHMAD GHARABLI)

Jan. 30, 2015: Suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in the Pakistani town of Shikarpur kills 71. Jundullah claims responsibility.

March 20, 2015: Islamic State suicide bombers attacked a pair of mosques in Yemen’s capital, unleashing monstrous blasts that ripped through worshipers and killed 137 people.

June 17, 2015: Nine black worshipers including a pastor were killed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, after he prayed with them in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof was convicted of federal hate-crime and obstruction-of-religion charges and sentenced to death.

In this June 18, 2015 file photo, Charleston, South Carolina shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Cleveland County Courthouse in Shelby, North Carolina. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Sept. 24, 2015: A suicide bomber strikes a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, killing 25 worshipers during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Nov. 12, 2016: Suicide bomber from Islamic State group kills over 50 at the shrine of Shah Noorani, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Dec. 11, 2016: Suicide bomber strikes inside a Cairo chapel adjacent to St. Mark’s Cathedral, seat of Egypt’s ancient Coptic Orthodox Church. The Islamic State group claimed the attack, which killed at least 25 people.

Egyptian mourners and officials stand next to the coffins of the victims of a bomb explosion that targeted a Coptic Orthodox Church the previous day in Cairo, at the end their funeral in the capital’s Nasr City neighborhood on December 12, 2016. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

Feb. 16, 2017: Suicide bomber detonates his explosives vest among the devotees at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Pakistan’s Sindh province, killing 98.

April 9, 2017: Twin suicide bombings rock churches in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria and Tanta, killing at least 45 people. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Nov. 5, 2017: Dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault weapon, 26-year-old Devin Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others.

Nov. 24, 2017: Assailants kill 311 worshipers in a mosque attack in north Sinai, the deadliest such terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.

Dec. 17, 2017: Islamic State attack on a church in Pakistani city of Quetta kills 16 people.

Oct. 27, 2018: A gunman believed to have spewed anti-Semitic slurs and rhetoric on social media entered Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire, killing 11 and wounding six, including four police officers.

Law enforcement run with a person on a stretcher at the scene where multiple people were shot, Saturday, October 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

March 15, 2019: At least 40 people are killed in an attack at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

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