Terrorist attacks worldwide shot up 25 percent last year, particularly in Iraq where extremists used chemical weapons and suicide bombers to target crowds, according to a new US State Department report.
Among countries, Iran remains the biggest supporter of terrorism, with elements of its government backing groups throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, giving material support and guidance to Shiite insurgent groups that have attacked Sunnis, US and Iraqi forces, the report said.
In its annual global survey of terrorism released Monday, the State Department says about 14,000 attacks took place in 2006, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. These strikes claimed more than 20,000 lives - two-thirds in Iraq. That is 3,000 more attacks than in 2005 and 5,800 more deaths.