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U.S. State Department: Terror Attacks, Deaths Up Sharply In 2014

Pakistani security personnel collect potential evidence after a bomb attack on the outskirts of the southwestern city of Quetta. (File photo)

A U.S. State Department report says terrorist attacks worldwide went up by more than one-third and fatalities surged by 81 percent in 2014.

In its annual report on terrorism, the department also points to an unprecedented flow of foreign fighters to Syria, often lured by the Islamic State group's use of social media.

Al-Qaeda's leaders "appeared to lose momentum as the self-styled leader of a global movement in the face of ISIL's rapid expansion and proclamation of a Caliphate," the report said, using an alternate acronym for Islamic State.

The State Department report, which covers the calendar year of 2014, said there were 13,463 terrorist attacks -- a 35 percent increase from 2013, resulting in more than 32,700 deaths -- an 81 percent rise.

However, militant activity decreased in some countries, including Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal, and Russia.

As of late December, more than 16,000 foreign terrorist fighters had traveled to Syria, exceeding the rate of those who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen or Somalia "at any point in the last 20 years," the report said.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters