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North America is region least likely to suffer from terror attack, researchers say

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A man examines the aftermath of a bomb attack in Baghdad on Wednesday.

North America is the least likely region of the world to suffer from terrorism, according to a “Global Terrorism Index” launched Tuesday.

The body behind the index, the Australia-based Institute of Economics & Peace, said in a statement that since the 2003 Iraq invasion the number of terror attacks worldwide had increased fourfold. 

But it added that the number of fatalities had fallen by 25 percent from a peak in 2007.

The institute produced an interactive map, showing the extent to which different countries were affected.

The U.S. was 41st on the index, which covers 2011, the statement said.

Iraq top of list
Iraq was in first place with 1,798 fatalities and 1,228 incidents, followed by Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Yemen.

Russia was the only European country in the top ten, which also included Somalia and Nigeria from Africa and Thailand and Philippines from Asia.

Plot to attack Federal Reserve in NYC

“North America is the least likely region to suffer from terrorism, with a fatality rate 19 times lower than Western Europe,” the statement said.

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Relatives and survivors commemorate the victims of a bombing in Moscow's largest airport on Jan. 27,  2011, in which 35 people were killed.

The countries with no terrorist incidents in 2011 included Brazil, Iceland, Poland, Mongolia, Vietnam, Liberia and Botswana, according to the list.

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Only 31 of the 158 countries ranked on the index had not suffered a terrorist attack since 2001.

Reuters reported that the list ranked countries based on data from the Global Terrorism Database run by a consortium based at the University of Maryland, a commonly used reference by security researchers. 

The institute's statement said the index scores countries by aggregating several factors, including the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities, injuries and property damage as well as other issues such as human rights and group grievances associated with terrorism.

The Institute of Economics & Peace, a registered charity in Australia, was set up with funds from Australian businessman and philanthropist Steve Killelea, who serves as its executive chairman.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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