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Philippines 12th most affected by terrorism globally

The Philippines ranks 12th globally in terms of terrorism's impact. AP/Bullit Marquez, File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked 12th globally in terms of terrorism's impact due to an increase in the number of fatalities and terrorist activity, according to a global terrorism index.

According to Global Terrorism Index 2017, the Philippines, China and Thailand have accounted for 85 percent of the total deaths in the Asia Pacific region since 2002. The report provides a comprehensive summary of key global trends and patterns in terrorism covering a period of 17 years, from 2002 to 2016.

The Philippines, Thailand and Myanmar meanwhile have seen the largest number of terrorist activity in the region since 2002.

"In 2016, these three countries accounted for 94 percent of attacks, which is a significant increase from 55 percent in 2002, " said the report which was produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace and based on data from the Global Terrorism Database.

READ: Marawi siege 'most serious terror event' in Southeast Asia in past 15 years

The report also noted the control by jihadist forces of Marawi City.

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As a region, the Asia Pacific had the third lowest impact from terrorism, but there is a wide variation among the countries in the region, with the Philippines ranking 12th globally while six countries including Mongolia, North Korea and Papua New Guinea ranking 134th as they had not experienced any terror activity in the last five years.

"Over the last fifteen years, there has been a 720 percent increase in the number of terrorist attacks from 106 in 2002 to 870 in 2016," it said.

READ: Expert warns of further radicalization after Marawi siege

The study also noted that there were 350 terrorism-related deaths in the Asia Pacific in 2002, and these increased to 744 in 2014 but declined in 469 in 2016.

Globally, 2017 is a turning point in the fight against terrorism as there is a decline in the number of deaths from terrorist attacks to 25,673 which represents a 22-percent improvement from its peak in 2014.

Despite this improvement, worrying trends were recorded by the investigation.

"More countries experienced at least one death from terrorism. This is more than at any time in the past 17 years and reflects an increase from 65 countries in 2015 to 77 in 2016," it said.

 
More nations also experienced at least one attack, from 95 in 2015 to 106 last year, resulting in a global GTI score deterioration of four percent since 2015.

Economic impact

Although the Islamic State group has suffered major defeats in its territories in Iraq and Syria, a more troubling development is playing out: the potential for hardened fighters and leaders to leave Iraq and Syria to join new radical permutations of ISIS or its affiliates in other countries.
 
Philippine security forces are on the lookout for returning ISIS fighters from the Middle East, just weeks after they crushed an attempt by ISIS-inspired militants to establish a caliphate in the Islamic city of Marawi.
 
 
The battle resulted in the deaths of more than 1,000 people, mostly combatants, displacement of at least 360,000 people and destruction of the lakeside city's center. After the five-month battle, most of the buildings were smoldering ruins.
 
The government has estimated that at least P50 billion would be needed to rehabilitate and reconstruct the town ravaged by terrorism.
 
"When examining the drivers of terrorism the presence of armed conflict, political violence by governments, political exclusion and group grievances remain critical factors," the report said.
 
The global impact of terrorism also declined to $84 billion in 2016 from a higher figure in 2015. Although this is significant, the economic impact of terrorism is still small compared to other forms of violence.
 
"This amount is only one percent of the total global economic impact of violence, which reached $14.3 trillion in 2016," the report said, warning that the financial impact was conservative as this did not include indirect impacts on business, investment and security costs.

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