Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

4/18/1983: The U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, is virtually destroyed by a car-bomb explosion that kills 63.

History Channel


Nigeria: Boko Haram extremists hamper polio eradication

ABC News


Chemical terrorism in Syria: A Chronology

NY Times

Chlorine Sarin Mustard

NY Times

NY Times



On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:45 PM local time, amidst continuous bombardment of residential neighborhoods in the city of Douma, more than 500 cases -the majority of whom are women and children- were brought to local medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent.

NY Times


“Following a brief ceasefire that only lasted for a couple of days, the city of Douma, East Ghouta, was again subjected to heavy shelling that resulted in dozens of casualties and hundreds of injuries. The attacks included the systematic targeting of medical centers and civil defense teams, resulting in the  the destruction of the majority of the civil defense centers and a large number of ambulances and rescue vehicles, heavily paralyzing the medical capacity of the city

On Saturday, April 7th, at 7:45 PM local time, amidst continuous bombardment of residential neighborhoods in the city of Douma, more than 500 cases -the majority of whom are women and children- were brought to local medical centers with symptoms indicative of exposure to a chemical agent. Patients have shown signs of respiratory distress, central cyanosis, excessive oral foaming, corneal burns, and the emission of chlorine-like odor.

During clinical examination, medical staff observed bradycardia, wheezing and coarse bronchial sounds. One of the injured was declared dead on arrival. Other patients were treated with humidified oxygen and bronchodilators, after which their condition improved. In several cases involving more severe exposure to the chemical agents, medical staff put patients on a ventilator, including four children. Six casualties were reported at the center, one of whom was a woman who had convulsions and pinpoint pupils. 

Civil Defense volunteers have reported more than 42 casualties found dead in their homes, with similar clinical symptoms of cyanosis and corneal burns. Civil defense volunteers were unable to evacuate the bodies due to the intensity of the odor and the lack of protective equipment. The reported symptoms indicate that the victims suffocated from the exposure to toxic chemicals, most likely an organophosphate element.

Following the chemical attack, the target site and the surrounding area of the hospital receiving the injured were attacked with an explosive barrel, which hindered the ability of the ambulances to reach the victims.

The Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) and the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) have documented nearly 200 uses of chemical weapons in Syria since 2012. Previous United Nations Security Council Resolutions on this matter have failed in stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria.……”

Muenster, Germany: A vehicle crashed into a crowd Saturday, killing several injuring as many as 20 more.


A training exercise video of the Manchester bombing, May 22, 2017

Emergency responses to Manchester Arena attack (5/22/2017)

The Guardian

Manchester Arena bombing report: the key points

• The Greater Manchester fire and rescue service did not arrive at the scene and therefore played “no meaningful role” in the response to the attack for nearly two hours.

•  A “catastrophic failure” by Vodafone seriously hampered the set-up of a casualty bureau to collate information on the missing and injured, causing significant distress to families as they searched for loved ones and overwhelming call handlers at Greater Manchester police.

•  Complaints about the media include photographers who took pictures of bereaved relatives through a window as the death of their loved ones was being confirmed, and a reporter who passed biscuit tin up to a hospital ward containing a note offering £2,000 for information about the injured.

•  A shortage of stretchers and first aid kits led to casualties being carried out of the Arena on advertising boards and railings.

•  Armed police patrolling the building dropped off their own first aid kits as they secured the area.

•  Children affected by the attack had to wait eight months for mental health support.

A reporter in the Kabul bureau of The New York Times: When she hears bombs explode

NY Times

“….[C]all my little brother…..”

“….I was a civilian, not a journalist, at the first suicide bombing I witnessed…… It was a hot July day and I took refuge from the afternoon heat in the shade of a wall.

That wall saved my life. I have no words to describe the horrible sound of that blast, a sound I had never heard before. Dust filled the air and I was lying on the ground, too shocked to move. Which was fortunate because a few minutes later came another blast — a vicious trick of terrorists to get first responders as well. Flying glass cut my nose, but I had no other injury.

Far worse was what I saw: the dead and dying, the dismembered victims and distraught survivors, the terrible screams of agony and suffering, and the howls of despair and rage. The blast killed 84 and wounded more than 400…..”


Impact of Armed Conflict on Healthcare in Afghanistan: UN Report

Afghanistan and the Protection of Civilians :  Document

“…..In 2017, UNAMA documented 75 incidents targeting and/or impacting healthcare and healthcare workers that caused 65 civilian casualties (31 deaths and 34 injured) compared to 120 incidents in 2016 that resulted in 23 civilian casualties (10 deaths and 13 injured).

Most of the civilian casualties (26 deaths and 22 injured) in 2017 occurred in the context of a complex attack by Anti-Government Elements on the Mohammad Sardar Daud Khan Hospital in Kabul city on 8 March.

Threats, intimidation, harassment and abduction of medical personnel comprised the majority of incidents in 2017.

UNAMA recorded the targeted killing or attempted targeted killing of five healthcare professionals (three deaths and two injured) by Anti-Government Elements in 2017. In one case, on 10 October, in Tera Zayi district, Khost province, Anti-Government Elements stopped a healthcare professional from a mobile team while he was riding a motorcycle, opened fire and killed him.

Throughout 2017, Anti-Government Elements abducted 22 healthcare workers in 11 incidents, killing one of them. The other healthcare workers were released unharmed, mostly without ransom, often following the intervention of local elders. In 2017, Anti-Government Elements continued to target ambulances – UNAMA recorded five such attacks, all during the first half of the year.  For example, on 26 April, in Bagram district, Parwan province, Anti-Government Elements detonated a remote-controlled IED against an ambulance driving to the site of a murder, injuring five civilians, including a forensic doctor, two investigators, and two child bystanders.

UNAMA also recorded five incidents of intentional damage to medical facilities by AntiGovernment Elements, including one case in Badghis province, on 20 September, where AntiGovernment Elements fired rocket-propelled grenades at a clinic under construction, which resulted in its destruction and caused three civilian casualties (one death and two injured) in a nearby private house.

UNAMA documented the temporary closure of at least 147 health facilities in 2017, following threats issued by Anti-Government Elements, compared to 20 such closures in 2016. These closures ranged from several hours, with partial continuation of services, to several months of complete interruption of services, and negatively affected access to healthcare for numerous people in these areas…..”


Medical security plan set during Egyptian presidential elections (3/26-28)


“…..Ministry of Health and Population declared that as a part of the comprehensive medical plan, 2887 equipped ambulances will be distributed across polling stations, centers for the final announcement of election results, as well as along main roads in each governorate …….the Egyptian Ambulance Authority has coordinated with the Critical and Emergency Care Department to provide emergency doctors for each ambulance. ….. three fully- equipped medical convoys, with different medical specialties, will be stationed in each governorate during the election. Enough emergency blood supplies and medicine for six months will be provided to all hospitals during the election…..”


Recent Posts