In Pictures: 2016, You’ve Been a Massive Let Down Thus Far
January ’16: Terror attacks, global stock market crashes and natural disasters. We’re almost sorry it’s the new year.
Twenty days into the new year and we’re already regretting stepping over the threshold.
On to new beginnings and better tidings we hoped and prayed, as we watched the torrential, ceaseless rains batter Chennai and as gunmen brought Paris down to its knees. A resolute Chennai and a dauntless Paris refused to succumb to adversity and concentrated, instead, on looking ahead.
The world assumed that with time, old wounds would heal and the year and it’s unpleasantness would give way to better things to come.
Boy, were we wrong.
January 2, 2016: The Pathankot Airbase Attack
In the wee hours of the morning, well before the world had recovered from its New Year revelry, a group of heavily-armed Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists stormed the Indian Air Force Base at Pathankot. The gun battle between security forces and the militants went on for two days. Six terrorists and six soldiers were killed in the prolonged encounter.
The attack had numerous repercussions. It threatened to deteriorate further the tenuous relationship between India and Pakistan. It brought to the fore Punjab’s drug racket and exposed glaring loopholes in national security.
January 4, 2016: The Manipur Earthquake
Early in the morning, around half past four, Manipur awoke to an earthquake that measured 6.8 on the Richter scale. The quake left 9 people dead and over 200 injured. In Bangladesh, the earthquake was responsible for 3 deaths and left over 40 people injured.
January 7, 2016: The Chinese Stock Market Crash
The stock markets in China, the world’s second-largest economy, crashed, creating shockwaves in the global market. Markets in the US, in Asia and the rest of the world, already tottering from falling oil prices, plummeted.
This is the second time in a year that the Chinese stock market has crashed, compounded by poor policies and governmental reforms.
Rapidly falling oil prices have also already been a concern this year. Investors watched in horror as over-supply resulted in prices falling to below $30 a barrel, a crucial psychological level.
January 12, 2016: The Istanbul Bombings
A suicide attack in Istanbul’s historic Sultanahmet Square claimed 11 lives. All those who died were foreign tourists, visiting the famous Blue Mosque. At 10.20 am local time, the bomb exploded, killing 11 and injuring 14. Nabil Fadii, a Syrian member of the ISIS, was responsible for the attack.
Over the past year, a number of ISIS-sponsored terrorist attacks have torn Turkey apart. In 2015, bombings in Ankara and Suruc claimed the lives of 103 and 33 people respectively. This also isn’t the first time the Sultanahmet Square has been targeted. On January 6, 2015, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb vest that resulted in the death of a police officer on duty.
January 14, 2016: The Jakarta Attacks
Multiple explosions and gunfire were reported near the Sarinah shopping mall in central Jakarta, Indonesia. One bomb went off at a Starbucks cafe, while another went off at a police post outside the mall. The attack took place in one of the city’s prominent locales; an area populated with luxury hotels, foreign embassies and a United Nations information centre.
At least eight people died (four attackers and four civilians) and 23 others were injured in the attack, for which the ISIS claimed responsibility.
January 15, 2016: Terror Attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Gunmen armed with heavy weaponry attacked a restaurant and the Splendid Hotel in the heart of Ougadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. The attack, for which the Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility, resulted in 30 fatalities and left at least 56 people wounded.
An armed government response, which carried over into the next moring, ensured that 176 hostages were released. The nearby YIBI hotel was then under siege, where an attacker was killed. In total, four Al-Qaeda militants were killed in the counter-attack.
January 19, 2016: Blast in Karkhano Market, Peshawar
The misery is far from over. A blast near Karkhano Bazaar in Peshawar claimed 10 lives and injured 20 more. The bomb explosion is believed to be a suicide attack, but no official confirmation has yet been received.
Karkhano market is a busy one, abuzz with human activity and vehicular traffic. It is the tribal belt’s gateway to Peshawar.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
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