The number of people killed globally in terrorist attacks jumped 80 percent last year to the highest level ever recorded, the Institute for Economics and Peace said Tuesday.
The Global Terrorism Index found that 32,658 people were killed by terrorists in 2014, up from the 18,111 fatalities of the previous year, the largest increase on record.
The study defines terrorism as “the threatened or actual use of illegal force and violence by a non-state actor to attain a political, economic, religious, or social goal through fear, coercion, or intimidation”.
Nigeria-based Boko Haram and the Islamic State group were responsible for more than half of the deaths, according to the study, which measures attacks, deaths and damage from terror attacks in 162 countries.
“Terrorism is gaining momentum at an unprecedented pace,” said Steve Killelea, the executive chairman of the Institute of Economics and Peace, which produces the study.
The increase followed a 61 percent rise in 2013.
The study found that terrorism was highly concentrated, with the five countries ofAfghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria accounting for 78 percent of deaths last year.
Iraq was the worst affected with 9,929 deaths from terrorism — suffering both the highest number of attacks and the most fatalities from terrorism ever recorded by a country.
The biggest rise in fatalities from terrorism however was in Nigeria, which saw an increase of over 300 percent in deaths to 7,512.