“By far the largest number of reported terrorist incidents occurred in the Near East and South Asia,” says the 335-page report, referring to the regions where Iraq and Afghanistan are located.
April 30, 2007 – The Scrooge Report Post
WASHINGTON — Terrorist attacks worldwide shot up 25 percent last year, particularly in Iraq where extremists used chemical weapons and suicide bombers to target crowds.
In its annual global survey of terrorism to be released Monday, the State Department says about 14,000 attacks took place in 2006, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. These strikes claimed more than 20,000 lives – two-thirds in Iraq. That is 3,000 more attacks than in 2005 and 5,800 more deaths.
Altogether, 40 percent more people were killed by increasingly lethal means around the globe.
The report attributes the higher casualty figures to a 25-percent jump in the number of nonvehicular suicide bombings targeting large crowds. That overwhelmed a 12-percent dip in suicide attacks involving vehicles.
In Iraq, the use of chemical weapons, seen for the first time in a November 23, 2006 attack in Sadr City, also “signaled a dangerous strategic shift in tactics,” it says.
With the rise in fatalities, the number of injuries from terrorist attacks also rose, by 54 percent, between 2005 and 2006, with a doubling in the number wounded in Iraq over the period, according to the department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2006.