World News

Terrorist attacks double in Pakistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Terrorist attacks in Pakistan more than doubled last year despite a general decline in such violence and its casualties worldwide, according to U.S. government figures released on Thursday.

The death toll from worldwide terrorism fell to 15,765 from 22,508 in 2007, while the number of attacks dropped to 11,770 from 14,506, according to data compiled by the U.S. intelligence community and released in a U.S. State Department report.

The general decline reflected diminished violence in Iraq following U.S. President George W. Bush’s 2007 decision to send additional troops to the country, which U.S.-led forces invaded in 2003 to topple former dictator Saddam Hussein.

However, the report said that attacks in Pakistan more than doubled in 2008.

U.S. officials have grown increasingly worried about the stability of nuclear-armed Pakistan, a U.S. ally seen as vital to stabilizing Afghanistan, as the Taliban have advanced from their Swat Valley stronghold to other parts of the country.

Editing by Eric Walsh