Global terrorism is still on the rise, and is set to hit a new record high in 2013, CNN reports.
The report cited the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), which reported that terrorism hit a record high in 2012, and that so far attacks have been even more frequent in 2013.
There were over 8,500 terrorist attacks worldwide in 2012 and nearly 15,500 people were killed by terrorism, the group reported. The data showed a major increase compared to 2011, with attacks up by 69% and fatalities up by 89%.
The previous high for attacks was set in 2011, while the previous year in which the most people were murdered by terrorists worldwide was 2007.
So far, terrorism has been even more frequent in 2013, with 5,100 terrorist attacks recorded by START in the first half of the year alone.
Several high-profile terrorist attacks took place in the second half of 2013, including a terrorist assault on the Westage Mall in Nairobi, Kenya in which at least 67 people were killed, a string of bombings in Pakistan that included an attack on a church that killed 75, and fresh waves of violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At least 4,000 people have been killed in fighting in Iraq in 2013.
START defines terrorism as activity by a “non-state actor” aimed at attaining a political, economic, religious or social goal, in which civilians were targeted, and which was intended to coerce or intimidate a larger group beyond the immediate victims.
The group gathers information on attacks by scanning world media.