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Nigeria tops world terror attack fatality list

Soldiers inspect the aftermath of a Boko Haram bomb blast in Nigeria.Nigeria has surpassed Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia as the world's deadliest country when it comes to terrorist attack fatalities after recording 3 477 deaths in 146 attacks over the last year, according to British risk consultancy firm Maplecroft.

The consultancy firm logs, analyses and maps every reported incident of terrorism worldwide and included 197 countries in this year's survey.

According to the report entitled "Maplecroft's Terrorism and Security Dashboard (MTSD)", incidents of terror attacks in Nigeria have increased since the government declared a state of emergency and launched a military offensive against the Islamist group Boko Haram in three northern states (Kano, Borno and Adamawa) in June last year.

The report says 18 668 people were killed in 9 471 terrorist-related attacks worldwide between July 2013 and June 2014, representing a 30% increase compared to the previous five year global average. This translates to an average of 26 terror-related attacks occurring every day around the world.

Nigeria topped the world with 3 477 deaths from 146 terror attacks, which translates to an average fatality rate of 24 deaths per attack. The report noted that the spiral of terrorist attacks in Nigeria puts its growing economy at risk of stagnation.

"Significant increases in risk have been seen in other important emerging economies though. Nigeria has moved into the top ten for the first time, due to increased activity of the terrorist group Boko Haram in the north of the country.

"The severity of this risk was highlighted by a series of attacks in Kano, northern Nigeria, on 20 January, 2012, which killed 211 people - making it the group's deadliest attack. Security risks in the country are compounded by the resurgence of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in Nigeria's south, which has been responsible for a series of attacks on the oil and gas industry," the report says.

The MTSD rated Nigeria among four African countries in a list of 12 global powers at "extreme risk" of terrorist attacks. The list is topped by Iraq followed by Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, Syria, the Philippines, Lebanon, Libya, Colombia and Kenya. Although Iraq recorded the highest number of terror attacks with 3 158 incidents, the fatality rate remained far lower than the Nigerian average at 2 per attack.

The group says the terrorist attacks that occurred over the past year have already hurt the tourism, oil and gas sector industries of emerging African economies.

"Libya, Kenya and Egypt are among a handful of countries to witness a significant increase in risk in the MTSD. Investor confidence in key sectors, including tourism and oil and gas, has been hurt. When faced with rising security costs and decreasing safety for their personnel, companies can, and do, reconsider their country-level commitments," Jordan Perry, a principal political risk analyst at Maplecroft told British media.

"The dynamic nature of terrorism means individual events are impossible to predict. However, up-to-date global intelligence on the intensity, frequency, precise location and type of attacks can help organisations to make informed decisions relating to market entry, security measures for in-country operations, duty of care obligations, supply chain continuity and risk pricing," said Maplecroft chief executive officer Alyson Warhurst.

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