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Sharp rise in deaths resulting from terrorism

November 18, 2014

In 2013, nearly 18,000 people died as a result of acts of terrorism around the world, according to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index report. It said that the country most affected by attacks last year was Iraq.

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According to the 2014 Global Terrorism Index, published on Tuesday, the number of deaths caused by terrorism increased by 61 percent between 2012 and 2013.

The report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization, which is based in Sydney, Australia, said there were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44 percent increase on the previous year.

Defined by the Index as "the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation," acts of terror resulted in 17,958 deaths in 2013.

"Not only is the intensity of terrorism increasing, its breadth is increasing as well," the report said.

Iraq hardest hit

Five countries - Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria - accounted for 80 percent of the deaths from terrorism in 2013, but Iraq was the country most affected by terrorism last year. A total of 2,492 terrorist attacks there killed more than 6,300 people.

The report, which examined 162 countries, covering 99.6 percent of the world's population, also found that 66 percent of the deaths were caused by four predominant militant groups: "Islamic State" (IS), al Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Taliban.

Common causes

According to the report, the three main factors behind with terrorism were state sponsored violence, such as extra-judicial killings, "group grievances" and high levels of crime. Levels of school attendance, poverty rates, and most economic factors, however, had no association with terrorism.

"Terrorism doesn't arise on its own; by identifying the factors associated with it, long term policies can be implemented to improve the underlying environment that nurtures terrorism," Steve Killelea, the executive chairman of the IEP said.

"The most significant actions that can be taken are to reduce state-sponsored violence, reduce group grievances and hostilities, and improve effective and community-supported policing,” he added.

Despite the significant rise in deaths as a result of terrorism, the report showed that in comparison to homicide, the number of fatalities is relatively small - 437,000 people were killed as a result of homicide lastyear. In the United States, for example, an individual is 64 times more likely to be victim of a homicide than terrorism.

ksb/pfd (AP, 2014 Global Terrorism Index)

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