This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The Taliban was the world’s “deadliest terrorist group” last year, according to a new survey, amid a rise in terrorist activity in Afghanistan and the winding down of conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The 2019 Global Terrorism Index, published on November 20 by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace, shows that the number of deaths attributed to the Taliban rose by nearly 71 percent in 2018 to 6,103, and accounted for 38 percent of all terror-related deaths globally.
The Taliban overtook Islamic State (IS) as the deadliest terrorist group, with deaths attributed to IS falling by almost 70 percent, to 1,328.
Overall, the number of global deaths from terrorism fell more than 15 percent to 15,952 in 2018, the report says.
The number has more than halved from a high of 33,555 deaths in 2014, according to the index.
The largest decline was recorded in Iraq, which for the first time since 2003 was not the country worst-hit by terrorism.
Iraq, which proclaimed a military victory over IS fighters in 2017, was the second most-affected country in 2018, followed by Nigeria and Syria.
The index noted that an overwhelming majority of terror attacks took place in countries involved in violent conflict.
However, the number of deaths caused by far-right terrorism in Western Europe, North America, and Oceania, has grown by 320 percent between 2014 and 2018.