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Terrorist attacks down in 2016: US report

Thursday, Jul 20, 2017,10:42 IST By joji A A A

Washington | Terrorist attacks and fatalities from terrorism declined globally in 2016 from levels seen in 2015, the US State Department said Wednesday in a report.
The report also said that the Islamic State (ISIS) remained “the most capable” terror group, directing and inspiring terror cells, networks, and individuals around the world even as it faced increased military pressure in Iraq and Syria and suffered considerable territorial losses throughout the year.
“Terrorist attacks and fatalities from terrorism declined globally in 2016 from levels seen in 2015,” Justin Siberell, Acting State Department Coordinator for Counter terrorism told reporters after the release of annual ‘Country Report on Terrorism’.  
ISIS, he said, lost considerable territory it controlled in Iraq and Syria through 2016.
Iraqi Security Forces supported by the coalition delivered a series of defeats on ISIS through 2016, beginning with the liberation of Ramadi in February, the recapture of Fallujah in June, and the seizure of the Qayyarah Air Base in northern Iraq in July, and finally the launch of the broad offensive in Nineveh in October that led to Iraqi Security Force penetration deep into eastern Mosul by the end of the year, he said.
Siberell said although terrorist attacks took place in 104 countries in 2016, they were heavily concentrated geographically, as they have been for the past several years.
“Fifty-five per cent of all attacks took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and 75 per cent of all deaths due to terrorist attacks took place in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, and Pakistan,” he said.
The total number of terrorist attacks in 2016 decreased by nine per cent, and total deaths due to terrorist attacks decreased by 13 per cent compared to 2015.
“This was largely due to fewer attacks and deaths from terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Yemen. At the same time, there was an increase in terrorist attacks and total deaths in several countries, including Iraq, Somalia, and Turkey,” the State Department official said.
The ISIS was responsible for more attacks and deaths than any other perpetrator group in 2016. In 2015, it was the Taliban that was responsible for more attacks and deaths, he added.

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