Afghanistan Overtook Iraq as the Deadliest Country in the World

December 8, 2018

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Men identified as Taliban fighters or sympathizers wave at a convoy of Afghan military forces during a June 2018 cease-fire in Logar province in Afghanistan.

J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes


According to stars and stripes, Afghanistan became the world’s deadliest terrorist hot spot in 2017, due to the escalation of the war and fewer incidents elsewhere, a new report said.


One in every four people who died from an act of terrorism last year lived in Afghanistan, according to Australia’s Institute for Economics and Peace think tank.


Last year the country suffered more than 1,000 attacks, leaving 4,653 dead and 5,015 injured.


Taliban fighters during a June 2018 cease-fire in Logar province in Afghanistan.

J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes

Meanwhile, casualties from terrorism throughout the world declined for the third consecutive year, due largely to the diminishment of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. 


Both countries saw sharp declines in the number of terrorism deaths last year. Europe also recorded a significant drop in 2017. Deaths worldwide are down by almost half since 2014, it said.


Almost all districts in Afghanistan saw at least one terrorist attack last year, the report stated.


The report tabulated intentional acts or threats of violence by non-state actors seeking to gain a political, economic, religious or social goal.


The Taliban have mounted several recent high-profile attacks, including a brief takeover of strategic Ghazni city. AFP 


In a shift of tactics, the Taliban cut attacks on civilians by half in 2017, while increasing attacks on the security forces by a third, the report said. 


However, attacks on civilians by the local Islamic State affiliate have risen in recent years, particularly in Kabul. 


The Taliban control or contest about half of Afghanistan, according to a US government watchdog. 


More than 28,000 Afghan soldiers and police have been killed since 2015, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani said in November.


Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., nominee for head of Central Command, said Tuesday the US. should not withdraw precipitously because the Afghan security forces are not yet able to defend themselves.

Disclaimer: The appearance of US Department of Defense (DoD) visual information on this website does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement. 

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