Jihadist attacks killed more than 5,000 people in just one month, an investigation by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service and King’s College, London, has disclosed.
Civilians bore the brunt of the violence, with more than 2,000 killed in reported jihadist incidents during November 2014. Islamic State carried out the most attacks, adding to the spiralling death toll in Iraq and Syria
The data gathered by the BBC found that 5,042 people were killed in 664 jihadist attacks across 14 countries, a daily average of 168 deaths, or seven every hour.
About 80 per cent of the deaths came in just four countries – Iraq, Nigeria, Syria and Afghanistan, according to the study of media and civil society reports.
Iraq was the most dangerous place to be, with 1,770 deaths in 233 attacks, ranging from shootings to suicide bombings.
Nigeria came second as 786 people, almost all of them civilians, were killed in 27 Boko Haram incidents. These tended to be large and indiscriminate bombings and shootings such as the attack on the central mosque in the northern city of Kano, which left 120 dead.
Boko Haram also struck over the border in Cameroon, killing 15 people. Meanwhile, in East Africa, al-Shabab took 266 lives in Somalia and Kenya.
Afghanistan suffered almost the same number of deaths as Nigeria (782) but they tended to be in smaller, targeted attacks, such as the shooting of the deputy governor of Kandahar.
In war-ravaged Syria, 693 people were killed; Yemen had 410 deaths in 37 attacks.
Of the 16 jihadist groups involved in the bloodshed, Islamic State was the most deadly, killing 2,206 people across Iraq and Syria – 44 per cent of the total death toll.
The Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Professor Peter Neumann, said Islamic State “has rivalled – if not replaced – al-Qaeda as the leader of global jihadism.”