KABUL (TCA) — A global study by the Institute for Peace and Economics has ranked Afghanistan the 2nd worst country in the world in terms of terrorism, TOLOnews reports.
The Global Terrorism Index (GTI) put Iraq at number one and Afghanistan at number two, followed by Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan and Yemen.
GTI Indicators on terrorism attacks in Afghanistan for 2016 stood at:
– Incidents 1,342
– Fatalities 4,574
– Injuries 5,057.
Based on the report, Afghanistan had the second highest number of deaths from terrorism in 2016. However this was 14 percent lower than the previous year, in part due to reduced terrorist activity by the Taliban, the report stated.
While this reduction provides some hope, the number of deaths recorded in 2016 was the second highest recorded from terrorism incidents in Afghanistan since the ousting of the Taliban regime in 2001.
The report indicates that the Taliban was responsible for 94 percent of attacks by known groups in Afghanistan in 2016.
However, the tactics of the Taliban appear to be evolving somewhat from previous years, stated the report.
While the number of battle-related deaths in 2015 and 2016 increased by five per cent to 18,000, the opposite occurred with terrorism related deaths which dropped by 23 percent in 2016.
The report stated that this trend reflects the move by the Taliban to engage in more traditional conflict tactics against the Afghan security forces and focus instead on territorial gains rather than terrorist activities.
As of April 2017, the Taliban had control of over 11 per cent of the country and contested another 29 percent of Afghanistan’s 398 districts.
“Terrorist attacks, in the context of an ongoing armed conflict, can serve a range of purposes. Attacks which focus on government, military and police targets aim to discourage support for the Afghan government, dissuade people from joining government organizations and dishearten members of the police and the Afghan National Guard (security forces). Conversely, attacks on civilians aim to illustrate that the government is unable to provide security,” the report reads.
The report said that Daesh continued to be active in Afghanistan in 2016. The group undertook 51 attacks that killed 505 people. This is a significant escalation from 2015 when 120 people were killed by the group.