Incident Summary:

08/11/2001: A mine placed by the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) derailed a train carrying refugees between Luanda and Dondo in Angola. The militants stopped the train with an anti-tank mine then fired at the train cars. Approximately 259 people were killed outright or died later from the attack and more than 160 were wounded.




Sub-Saharan Africa

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Transportation
Name of Entity Angolan Railway System
Specific Description A passenger train traveling from Luanda to Dondo
Nationality of Target Angola
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Major (likely > $1 million but < $1 billion)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite Land Mine
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The train, which was traveling between Luanda and Dondo, was in the Maria Teresa Community at the time of the attack. The train consisted of four passenger carriages, two freight cars and two oil containers.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Unknown)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 259 Fatalities / 160 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 259
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 160
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Death toll rises to 259 after UNITA attack on Angolan train," Agence France Presse, August 18, 2001.
"Around the World," The Seattle Times, August 12, 2001.
"World," St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri), August 12, 2001.