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Deadly threats persist: deaths from terrorist activity up 20%, says Janes

2020 full-year terrorism figures from Janes highlight 2,543 more deaths in 2020 from terrorist activity than in 2019 – despite operational activity slowing down.

LONDON (9 March) – Data from the 2020 Global Attack Index by Janes, spanning the entirety of 2020, demonstrates a total of 17,122 non-militant deaths in 2020 resulting from attacks by non-state armed groups (NSAG), a 17.4% increase from 2019.  Despite this, information from the trusted global agency for open-source defence intelligence recorded a 3.7% decrease in attacks – with 13,310 attacks by NSAG recorded from open-sources.

“The overall downturn in attacks can be largely attributed to the July ceasefire in Ukraine’s Donbass region, which resulted in attacks dropping by one-third in the high-tempo separatist conflict,” said Matthew Henman, head of Terrorism and Insurgency at Janes. “This decrease masked major shifts in violence in Afghanistan and key conflict zones in sub-Saharan Africa, though, where attacks and resultant fatalities rose dramatically.”

Deadlier than ever: rise in attacks in Afghanistan propels it to top spot

In 2020, Janes recorded 2,373 NSAG attacks in Afghanistan – making it the most dangerous country in terms of attacks recorded. Concurrently, it also took the spot as the deadliest country, with the 6,617 fatalities recorded by Janes representing a 15.9% increase from the annual total recorded in Afghanistan in 2019.

“The fatality total accounted for more than one-third (38.6%) of all non-militant fatalities worldwide, and was higher than the cumulative total of the next six deadliest countries,” said Henman. “Across 2020, the most attacks were recorded in Afghanistan – while the country, coupled with Syria and Ukraine, cumulatively accounted for more than half of all attacks worldwide.”

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