Terrorism fatalities rose by nearly 2,000 in 2007: US report

May 1st, 2008 - 1:02 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Washington, May 1 (DPA) Terrorist attacks claimed more than 22,000 lives worldwide in 2007, with more than half of the fatalities taking place in Iraq, the US government said. The number of deaths last year in terrorist attacks increased from 2006, jumping from 20,872 to 22,685, the US National Counterterrorism Centre said Wednesday, even though the number of attacks dipped from 14,570 in 2006 to 14,499 in 2007.

About 6,200 of the attacks - or 43 percent - occurred in Iraq, taking the lives of 13,600 people and accounting for about 60 percent of the world’s total, the centre said.

Terrorist attacks in Iraq decreased by more than 400 compared to 2006 but remained well above the 2005 figure, when the government counted 3,469 in Iraq.

Al Qaeda remained the largest threat in 2007 and Iran the biggest state sponsor of terrorism, through its support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Palestinian militant group Hamas, and by training and equipping Shia militants in Iraq, the US State Department said.

Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria remained on the state-sponsors-of-terrorism list, although Pyongyang could soon be removed if the country follows through on its nuclear disarmament agreement with the US, Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea.

The State Department said terrorist groups continued to merge with Al Qaeda, which has been able to reconstitute strength in Pakistan’s frontier region and begin restoring central leadership under the command of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born deputy of Osama bin Laden.

Al Qaeda and its affiliated groups accounted for at least 5,400 of civilian deaths worldwide. More than 50 percent of those killed in terrorist attacks in 2007 were Muslims, the counterterrorism centre said.

Terrorist attacks in Pakistan doubled as Al Qaeda and extremist groups stepped up assaults on President Pervez Musharraf’s government and fatalities quadrupled, the State Department said.

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