In 2019, there were over 1,800 terrorist attacks in Afghanistan which accounted for the brunt of all terrorist activities worldwide, according to a report by the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) as part of its Global Terrorism Database (GTD), released this week.
Afghanistan experienced 21% of all terrorist attacks worldwide in 2019, even as the Taliban was engaged in peace talks with the U.S. which intensified till an agreement was signed in February this year.
The Taliban in Afghanistan was responsible for more terrorist attacks in 2019 than any other group by a “wide margin” and those attacks resulted in more deaths than the next ten deadliest perpetrator groups combined, the report finds.
The insurgents sustained a “longstanding upward trend” throughout all of last year even if the possibility remained that the peace talks could be derailed.
According to the data, 41% of all people killed in terrorist attacks (including assailants) in 2019 were killed in Afghanistan.
Between 2018 and 2019, the number of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan increased 2%, while the total number of victims decreased by 16% to 8,249. However, the change in casualties was due to the 32% decline in the number of perpetrators killed during the attacks, which used to be higher.
So, while fewer Taliban members were killed, the number of victims of Taliban attacks actually increased by 9%, “essentially sustaining the escalation that has taken place in Afghanistan in recent years.”