LAHORE: Sunday’s attack on the US Consulate in Karachi was at least the 44th major offensive launched by angry local mobs or terrorists against the American diplomatic facilities around the world during these last five decades or so, a research conducted by “The News International” shows.
Some 44 attacks in just over 50 years, or 52 years since 1958 to be more precise, thus reinforce the common belief that life has never been easy for American diplomats posted in foreign countries. In Pakistan, the American diplomatic facilities have now been attacked five times — probably more than any other country in this context — meaning thereby that on an average, the US embassy or consulates have come under attack once every seventh year in this Islamic Republic since November 21, 1979.
While the US embassies and consulates remained the most frequently-targeted international foreign missions during this 52-year period under review, over a dozen of these attacks were recorded during former President George W. Bush’s tenure — the most during the rule of any president in the world super power’s history. Here follows the list of 44 attacks, according to information extracted from various sources including the US Naval History and Heritage, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Al-Jazeera TV etc:
1) On January 27, 1958, the US embassy at Ankara was attacked. This happened just a couple of days before John Foster Dulles, the then US Secretary of State under President Dwight Eisenhower, was set to arrive in this Turkish city for a Baghdad Pact meeting.
2) The United States Embassy at Libreville (Gabon) was bombed on March 5, 1964.
3) The United States Embassy at Libreville was again attacked on March 8, 1964.
4) On January 31, 1968, the US embassy at Saigon (South Vietnam) was attacked, killing few diplomats who had to fight themselves.
5) One person was killed when the US embassy at Phnom Penh, Cambodia was attacked on September 26, 1971, while a softball game was in progress.
6) A US marine was wounded when Communists in Manila attacked the American diplomatic mission in 1972.
7) On August 19, 1974, the US ambassador and his assistant were killed by a sniper in a riot outside the country’s embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus.
8) On August 4, 1975, Japanese Red Army gunmen raided the US embassy at Kuala Lumpur. No casualties were reported.
9) On Nov 4, 1979, US embassy at Tehran was attacked and country’s 52 diplomats were taken hostage by a group of pro-Revolution students and hardliners. The Iran hostage crisis continued for 444 days till January 20, 1981.
10) On Nov 21, 1979, a mob attacked US embassy in Islamabad, killing two American diplomats.
11) On December 2, 1979, the US embassy at Tripoli (Libya) was attacked. No casualties were reported.
12) On April 18, 1983, a car bomb attack on US embassy at Beirut claimed 63 lives, including 17 Americans.
13) On Dec 12, 1983, a truck bomb exploded outside US embassy at Kuwait, killing six people.
14) On September 20, 1984, a Hezbollah truck bomb outside the US embassy at Beirut killed 24 people, including two Americans.
15) In Nov 1984, a car bomb outside the US embassy at Bogota (Columbia) killed one person.
16) On May 14, 1986, Japanese Red Army attacked the US embassy at Jakarta.
17) On June 9, 1987, Japanese Red Army attacked the US embassy at Rome.
18) On September 17, 1989, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) fired on US embassy at Bogota (Colombia) caused no damage.
19) In 1990, the US Embassy at Tel Aviv (Israel) was attacked.
20) On July 27, 1993, a car bomb planted outside the US Embassy at Lima (Peru) ripped off.
21) On September 13, 1995, an RPG was fired on US embassy at Moscow.
22) On June 21, 1988, an RPG was fired on the US embassy at Beirut by Hezbollah.
23) On August 7, 1988, Al-Qaeda attacked the US embassy at Nairobi.
24) On August 7, 1988, Al-Qaeda also attacked the US embassy at Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania). The two simultaneous attacks had killed 224 people altogether.
25) On January 22, 2002, Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami gunmen attacked the US consulate at Kolkata, killing five people.
26) On June 14, 2002, an Al-Qaeda truck bomb detonated outside the US consulate at Karachi, killing 12.
27) On October 12, 2002, the US consular office at Denpasar (Indonesia) was bombed by Jemaah Islamiyah as part of the Bali bombings.
28) In 2002 again, nine people were killed by bomb blast near US embassy in Lima (Peru). It was seen as attempt to disrupt forthcoming visit by President George W. Bush.
29) On February 28, 2003, unknown gunmen attacked US embassy at Islamabad, killing two people.
30) On June 30, 2004, a suicide bomber hailing from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacked US embassy at Tashkent, killing two people.
31) On December 6, 2004, Al-Qaeda gunmen raided the diplomatic compound at Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), killing nine Americans.
32) On March 2, 2006, two people were killed when a car bomb exploded outside the US consulate in Karachi.
33) On September 12, 2006, gunmen raided the US embassy at Damascus (Syria), killing four people.
34) On January 12, 2007, a Greek revolutionary group fired an RPG at the US embassy at Greece. No damage done.
35) On March 18, 2008, a mortar attack at the US Embassy at Sana’a (Yemen) killed two people.
36) On July 9, 2008, an armed attack at the US consulate at Istanbul killed six people.
37) On September 17, 2008, 16 people were killed when the US embassy at Sana’a (Yemen) was attacked.
38) On July 11, 2011, supporters of the Syrian government stormed the US embassy at Damascus, smashing windows and raising a Syrian flag at the US diplomatic compound. The office building was damaged as the Syrian security forces were slow to respond. Following the embassy assault, the residence of the US ambassador, Robert Ford, was also attacked by a mob.
39) On September 13, 2011, Taliban attacked the US embassy and the NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) headquarters at Kabul with small arms and RPGs.
40) On October 28, 2011, a man armed with an automatic weapon fired shots at the US embassy at Sarajevo, hitting a police officer before authorities shot and wounded him.
41) On April 5, 2012, eight people lost lives when the US Consulate at Peshawar was attacked.
42) On September 11, 2012, a group of violent protesters stormed the US consulate at Benghazi (Libya) against the recent anti-Islam blasphemous video film—- killing the US Ambassador and three staff members.
43) On September 11, 2012, the US embassy at Cairo was also attacked.
44) On September 11, 2012, the US embassy at Sana’a too came under an aggressive assault.