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An activist at a demonstration near the Eiffel Tower, Paris, Dec. 12, 2015 (AP photo by Thibault Camus).

Despite Bloody 2015, the World Really Is Safer Than Ever

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015

Looking back on the past year, it would seem from merely scanning the headlines that the world is becoming a deadlier, more violent place.

The year began with a series of bloody massacres by the Nigerian terrorist/insurgent group Boko Haram, which has become the deadliest such group in the world. Next came the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher attacks in Paris, after which the violence seemingly continued without pause. The Sanaa mosque bombing in Yemen killed 142 people; the al-Shabaab attack on a university in Kenya took another 147 lives; the massacre perpetrated by the self-declared Islamic State in Kobani, near the Turkish border, killed more than 200. There was also the murder of 29 foreign tourists in Tunisia in June; the Baghdad market bombing in July; the Ankara bombing in August, which killed more than 100; the bombing that brought down a Russian commercial airliner in October; the Paris attacks, a major bombing in Beirut and an attack on a hotel in Bamako in November; and the San Bernardino attack in the United States in December. There have also been dozens of deadly attacks in Syria by the Islamic State, as well as horrible atrocities committed against the civilian population, and in Afghanistan by the Taliban, which has ratcheted up the violence as the U.S. combat mission there winds down. ...

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