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Terrorism activities in the Philippines have doubled in 2013, the Global Terrorism Index Report for 2014 showed, ranking the country the 9th most at risk of becoming less peaceful.
The country's ranking went up from 10th place in 2012.
On the top of the list of countries most affected by terrorism was Iraq, followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria, India, Somalia, Yemen, and Thailand.
The GTI said these countries have all suffered from terrorism for many years and the most impacted five countries accounted for more than 80 percent of all terrorist deaths.
It added that majority of 10,000 terrorist attacks, or 66 percent, in 2013 were claimed by only four terrorist organizations: ISIL (Islamic State), Boko Haram, the Taliban, and al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The study, produced by international think tank Institute for Economics and Peace, said terrorism has increased significantly in the Philippines between 2012 and 2013, with almost twice as many incidents recorded at 499 and the number of deaths more than doubled from 122 to 292.
“Terrorism in the Philippines is intrinsically tied with nationalist and separatist claims by people living in provinces in southern Philippines (Mindanao),” the GTI said, but it also noted that “terrorism is spread across the country."
It said 438 cities suffered a terrorist attack in 2013 of which only 104 had one attack or 83 percent of the 81 provinces had at least one terrorist attack.
Cotabato City recorded the highest number of terrorist activities with 11 separate attacks that killed 11 people.
The study said the New People's Army (NPA), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) carried out the most terrorist activities in 2013, with the outawed communist group claiming responsibility for 30 percent of the deaths.
The worst incident, GTI noted, was the alleged attack of the communist insurgents in Cagayan where nine police officers were killed and seven were wounded.
In the Philippines, armed assault represented nearly half of all fatalities, followed by assassinations, which constituted a quarter of all fatalities contrary to many other parts of the world where use of explosives and bombings are more common attacks, the GTI said.
It added that assassination was the prominent form of attack with 56 percent of attempts successful. It said a total of 103 people were killed by assassinations in 2013, which is more than five times higher than 2012.
The report said around 34 percent of deaths from terrorist attacks were targeting the government, with business leaders, private citizens and police representing between 10 and 17 percent of deaths.
“The use of these tactics and targets demonstrates that many of the terrorist groups in the Philippines are seeking to directly change the political system,” GTI said.
It further noted that only the Abu Sayyaf engaged in suicide bombing.
GTI also included the Philippines on the list of countries that may experience increases in terror activities due to ongoing conflicts. The others were Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Israel, Mali, Mexico, Yemen, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, and Turkey. — RSJ, GMA News