Worldwide terror deaths witness a drop in 2017

LONDON: During January to June 2017, a total of 10,352 non-militant fatalities were caused by non-state armed groups, down 20 percent from 13,025 deaths in the previous six months, according to a new report from IHS Markit, a world leader in critical information, analytics and solutions.

“While the number of fatalities dropped significantly in the first half of 2017, it’s worth noting that the total number of attacks only fell by 1 percent to 13,068 from the 13,204 attacks recorded during July to December 2016,” said Matthew Henman, Head of the Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC) at IHS Markit.

“This was principally a consequence of a reduction in mass-casualty violence by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. As the group has experienced growing territorial losses it has increasingly transitioned back to lower-level guerrilla operations in these areas.”

Worldwide attacks by the Islamic State increased by 38 percent to total 2,962 in the first half of 2017, but non-militant fatalities decreased by 17 percent compared to the prior six months. Attacks by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a newly-formed militant Islamist organization structured around former Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fath al-Sham, rose by 18 percent in the first half of 2017, totaling 395. Subsequent fatalities increased by 140 percent in the same period.

Fatalities attributed to the Turkish PKK in the first half of 2017 sank by 69 percent while total attacks fell by 27 percent compared to the latter half of 2016. The number of non-militant fatalities in the UK increased more than twenty-fold in January to June 2017 to reach 44, while the number of attacks increased by 37 percent compared to the previous six months. This was almost entirely a consequence of mass casualty attacks in London and Manchester during the period.

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