Summary of historical attacks using chemical or biological weapons

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Summary of historical attacks using chemical or biological weapons

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 5 December 2017

The following table summarizes known historical instances of the use of chemical or biological weapons, in reverse chronological order. The listing is limited to events after 1900 (while there were some earlier instances of chemical/biological warfare, these instances were generally of very limited effectiveness). Note that some incidents are disputed, and casualty figures in some cases are very uncertain. Events included:

  • use in warfare: multiple attacks within a war are grouped together.
  • use by terrorists: includes attacks with larger numbers of casualties.
  • other: several criminal incidents and accidental chemical releases are included because of their significance.

Sources are provided following the table at the link below

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http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/chembioattacks.html