The Taliban raise victims of terrorism in 2019 worldwide despite declining attacks

Milicianos talibán se entregan en Herat

Taliban militiamen are delivered in Herat – GETTY IMAGES / MAJID SAEEDI – Archive

The Afghan group surpasses Islamic State as the world's deadliest


The greater activity of the Taliban in Afghanistan, despite being immersed in peace negotiations with the United States, caused the year 2019 to close with an increase in the number of victims of terrorism worldwide although the number of attacks was the lowest verified since 2011, according to the latest report of the Center on Terrorism and Insurgency of the specialized magazine 'Jane's'.

The Taliban raise victims of terrorism in 2019 worldwide despite declining attacks
The Taliban raise victims of terrorism in 2019 worldwide despite declining attacks

Thus, in 2019 there were 14,009 terrorist attacks worldwide, 10 percent less than the previous year, although the number of victims, both civilians and members of the security forces, increased by 10 percent to stand at 14,920, compared to 13,547 dead in 2018.

As explained by the director of the center, Matthew Henman, one of the key factors in the decline in violence has been the least activity in some conflict zones, “even in Ukraine, which remains the most violent country in terms of attacks registered “although they were reduced by a fifth compared to 2018.

However, “this has been offset by the significant increase in fatalities in the Taliban attacks in Afghanistan, as well as the increasing mass violence in areas such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as the attacks in April. in Sri Lanka, “he added.

Specifically, the Taliban attacks increased by 90 percent in the last year – 1,077 versus 574 -, causing 60 percent more fatalities – 4,617 compared to 2,980. “The Taliban have surpassed the Islamic State as the deadliest group, adding more deaths than the next nine terrorist groups together,” Henman said.

“The increase of almost 60 percent in the victims of Taliban operations reflects the intensification of the group's operations against security forces throughout the year,” he said.


As regards Islamic State, its attacks and the deaths caused by them were reduced by around 20 percent in both cases compared to 2018. It should be remembered that the terrorist group lost in the last year the last stronghold of its self-proclaimed caliphate in March and in October to its leader, Abú Bakr al Baghdadi.

“The decline reflects a substantial reduction in activity in Iraq and Syria, although the group's operations in West Africa and the Sahel highlight the significant ongoing threat posed by the group,” Henman has warned.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the 'Jane's' study has accounted for a 10 percent increase in the number of attacks – 1,753 – thus reversing the global downward trend. In addition, the number of fatalities increased by 40 percent – from 3,336 to 4,657 -.


Specifically, six of the ten countries with the most fatalities worldwide are in this region. “The dead in sub-Saharan Africa increased dramatically in 2019, driven by an intensification of existing conflicts and their expansion into new territories,” Henman explained.

In the case of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), he said, “the Democratic Allied Forces (ADF, a rebel group) carried out repeated attacks against the civilian population, while ongoing Islamist activity in Mali still exacerbated plus ethnic and inter-community violence, in addition to overflowing across the border to Burkina Faso and Niger. ”

In addition, “although Iraq and Syria is in decline, Islamic State forces in West Africa and the Sahel maintained a high level of attacks and fatalities,” he said, referring to the group's subsidiaries active in the lake basin. Chad and in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Attacks in the Middle East and North Africa were reduced by almost 20 percent in 2019, largely due to the decline in violence in both Iraq and Syria

As for the objective of the attacks, more than 60 percent were against the security forces, while attacks against other armed groups increased by 10 percent. 80 percent of such attacks occurred in Syria, according to the study.

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