Terrorism at Record Level; Anti-U.S. Incidents Jump
Terrorism increased worldwide to a record level in 1988, including a jump in the number of anti-U.S. incidents, the State Department reported to Congress today.
The bombing of a Pan Am jetliner in December over Scotland, which the department’s office to counter terrorism said was probably a terrorist incident, and the Palestinian uprising on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip helped push the total of incidents to a new high of 856, up 3% from 1987.
685 Killed; 1,131 Wounded
In all, 658 people were killed and 1,131 wounded, an increase in fatalities from 633 in 1987 but a decrease in injuries from 2,272.
The casualty figures include terrorists who were killed or wounded during attacks.
The State Department report said the United States remained a primary target for international terrorism last year, as the number of anti-U.S. incidents rose from 149 in 1987 to 185. They resulted in 192 people killed and 40 wounded, compared with seven Americans killed and 47 wounded in 1987.
The increase in deaths was due largely to the attack on U.S.-bound Pan Am 103 in which 259 people aboard the jumbo jet and 11 on the ground perished.
Latin America was the area showing the largest percentage of incidents against U.S. citizens and property--60%.
On the whole, the Middle East again had the highest incidence of international terrorism, with 313 attacks.