Pakistan, Afghan make South Asia terror capital

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 28, 2010 08:30

Increases in terror attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan triggered a spike in the number of civilians killed or wounded there last year and pushed South Asia past the Middle East as the top terror region in the world, according to new figures compiled by a US intelligence agency.

Thousands of civilians — overwhelmingly Muslim — continue to be slaughtered in extremist attacks, contributing to the instability of the often shaky, poverty-stricken governments in the region, the statistics compiled by the National Counterterrorism Center show.

"The numbers, to a certain extent, are a reflection of where the enemy is re-gathering," said Juan Zarate, a top counterterror official in the Bush administration who is now senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"So, to the extent we are seeing more attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it's a reflection of resistance to US policy and presence as well as a strategic shift by groups like al-Qaida and foreign jihadis to concentrate where they think they will be most effective," he said.


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