London (dpa) - The number of victims of global terrorism fell last year for the fourth consecutive year. This emerges from the Global Terrorism Index of the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), which was published in London on Wednesday.

According to the report, 15,952 people worldwide died in 2018 due to terrorism. Compared to 2014, the worst year yet, this is a drop of more than 50 percent. In 2017, another 25 673 people were killed by terrorism.

In Europe, including Turkey, in 2018 significantly fewer terrorist attacks were reported than in the previous year. If more than 200 people died in the hands of terrorists in 2017, there would still be 62 in 2018.

For the first time since 2003, Iraq was no longer the country most affected last year. There, the number of terror victims fell by 75 percent to 1054. The sad record now holds Afghanistan. 7379 people died there last year from terrorism, almost 60 percent more than in 2017. Accordingly, the Taliban replaced the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS) as the deadliest group.

In Nigeria, Mali and Mozambique, the situation deteriorated significantly. Nigeria recorded 2040 terror victims last year. For the first time, more victims of terror were registered in Sub-Saharan Africa than in the Middle East and North Africa.

But the threat of right-wing extremist terrorism increased. In the past five years, the number of terrorist attacks by right-wing extremists in Europe, North America and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) has tripled. In 2018, 26 people worldwide died from extreme right-wing terrorism. In the current year until the end of September there were already 77 dead. Nevertheless, the proportion of extreme right-wing terror victims in the number of terrorists killed worldwide is still low. Islamist groups were responsible for most of the victims.

The economic damage caused by terrorism in 2018 is estimated by the institute at 33 billion US dollars (equivalent to 29.7 billion euros).