Boko Haram, the militant group that has tortured Nigeria and its neighbors for years, was responsible for 6,664 deaths last year, more than any other terrorist group in the world, including the Islamic State, which killed 6,073 people in 2014, according to a report released Wednesday tracking terrorist attacks globally.
Boko Haram has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State, but it is unclear what support the group is giving Boko Haram beyond assisting with publicity.
The report released Wednesday, from the Institute of Economics & Peace, said the Islamic State and Boko Haram were responsible for half of all global deaths attributed to terrorism.
Last year, the deaths attributed to Boko Haram alone increased by more than 300 percent, the report said.
The report found a drastic increase in terrorist attacks last year, with the majority occurring in three countries: Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, where other militant groups besides Boko Haram operate.
“In Nigeria, private citizens are overwhelmingly targeted, most often with firearms resulting in very high levels of deaths per attack,” the report said.
Security experts, regional authorities and Western military officials have credited Mr. Buhari’s renewed push against Boko Haram for scattering the group, which gained notoriety in the United States when it kidnapped scores of schoolgirls and seized entire towns in northern Nigeria.
They say the string of recent attacks on various public places is evidence that the group is grasping to gain real ground and is no longer as capable of holding territory. Still, attacks in crowded spots like schools and markets, long a staple of Boko Haram’s mayhem, can be extremely deadly.
This is the third year the economics and peace institute has released its Global Terrorism Index, a study of terrorist activity around the world. The index is based on data collected as part of a program run by the University of Maryland dedicated to the study of terrorism around the world.
The report estimated that $117 billion was spent worldwide to fight terrorism. It said that two countries, Cameroon and Ukraine, experienced no terrorism-related deaths in 2013 but that each had more than 500 deaths from terrorism the following year.
In Ukraine, the spike in deaths came largely from militants in the region who are suspected of shooting down a Malaysia Airlines plane, killing all on board. In Cameroon, the report said Boko Haram had expanded its reach into the country with bombings.