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Iran more active in sponsoring terrorists: U.S. report


The U.S. State Department said Thursday that Iran has become more active in its state sponsorship of terrorism and that more than half of the world's terrorist attacks in 2012 occurred in three countries -- Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"A marked resurgence" was noted in Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism through the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and the Lebanon-based Shiite Islamist militant group Hezbollah, the Country Reports on Terrorism in 2012 said.

Iran was involved in terrorist attacks or attempted attacks in India, Thailand, Georgia and Kenya, and provided extensive support to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in its brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of more than 70,000 civilians, the report said.

The department has designated Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.

The core of the al-Qaida terrorist network has been "significantly degraded" as a result of ongoing worldwide efforts against it, but the group "seeks to establish a long-term presence" among rebels in Syria, the report said.

The number of terrorist attacks came to 6,771 last year resulting in the deaths of 11,098 people, the report said. The department said in the previous annual report that the number of such attacks dipped to a five-year low of 10,283 in 2011.

Terrorist attacks took place in 85 countries in 2012, it said, noting 55 percent of such attacks and 62 percent of the fatalities occurred in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.