Death toll climbed sharply in major 2014 conflicts, says study

The death toll in the world’s most brutal conflicts climbed by more than 28% last year from 2013 with bloodshed in Syria worse than all others for the second year running, according to a study released today. More than 76,000 people were killed in Syria last year, up from 73,447 in 2013. Many of the most violent wars involved radical Islamist groups. Ukraine’s separatist conflict in the east of the country propelled it onto eighth on the list, having been largely conflict free in 2013. At least 14 separate wars killed more than 1,000 people in 2014, up from 10 in 2013.

Assessing casualty figures in conflict is notoriously difficult and many of the figures we are looking at here are probably underestimates.

PS21 Executive Director Peter Apps

The Project for the Study of the 21st Century (PS21) think tank analyzed data from sources including the United States military, the United Nations, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights and Iraqi Body Count. PS21 Executive Director Peter Apps said: “When you compare like with like data for 2014 and 2013, you get a very significant increase.”