The 15 Violent Hotspots Around The World

Posted on by Igor Derysh (IgorDerysh)
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For all of Mitt Romney's talk about us living in " peacetime," the world seems to be growing further unstable each day. Fueled by the global economic crisis, protests, riots, and unrest have broken out all over Northern Africa and the Middle East. This only adds to the already ongoing violence from conflicts that started years ago. The United States is directly involved in four of them. Here are the 15 violent hotspots around the globe:

15. Afghanistan

This September will mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. It will also mark the anniversary of the United States' invasion of Afghanistan. Since the invasion began, 1,472 American troops have been killed, nearly 900 coalition troops, and more than 7,500 Afghanistan Security Force troops. More than 38,000 insurgents have been killed or captured, while up to 34,000 civilians have died as a result of the combat. More than 60,000 troops and contractors have been wounded, as well as an unknown amount of civilians.

14. Iraq

Once again, regardless of what Mitt Romney may call the time we live, the United States is yet in another war. As of this writing, 4,427 American troops have been killed as well as more than 300 coalition troops, 10,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces, more than 1,000 contractors, and more than 25,500 insurgents. The number of civilian and total casualties is widely debated but is estimated to be anywhere from 100,000 to more than 500,000. This past March marked the eight-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

13. Nigeria

Violence in Nigeria
raged after Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian candidate from the south, defeated his northern Muslim opponent. The violence has left more than 500 dead in a region that has been plagued by Christian-Muslim violence for years. Earlier this year, hundreds died after numerous instances of violence broke out.

12. Southern Sudan

Southern Sudan, where voters opted to secede to form their own state this summer, has seen hundreds killed as militias and troops battled it out after months of violence. More than 800 people have been killed and nearly 100,000 displaced. The Sudan is no stranger to violence; hundreds of thousands were killed in what can only be described as a genocide in Darfur earlier this decade.

11. North Caucasus

Not long ago, Russia ran its troops into the Caucasus to fight off Georgian troops. Many do not know that the region has been plagued with violence for years. The violence continues as "resistance fighters" in the North Caucasus - Ingushetia and Daghestan, as well as Chechnya - have seen a spike in bombings. They have specifically been targeted at police forces believed to be "Pro-Moscow."

10. Thailand (and Cambodia)

Two on-going violent disputes are raging in Thailand. First, hundreds of troops have died in a stand-off between Thailand and Cambodia over their long-disputed border. The two countries have announced a cease-fire but experts expect the century-long feud to flare up again. In the south, insurgents continue to set off car bombs in the ravaged southern parts of the country. Thousands of people are believed to have been killed since the separatist movement began, mostly in clashes with the military.

9. Pakistan

Violence has long spilled over from Afghanistan into neighboring Pakistan. In the northern part, Pakistani troops and United States' drones battle it out with the Taliban. In Karachi, one of Pakistan's biggest cities, violence continues to escalate, fueled by the political unrest in the country.

8. Israel-Palestine

Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza continue to exchange rocket fire. Though rockets fired from Gaza have not killed anyone, recent bus bombings and outbreaks have. Israel's retaliatory strikes have killed dozens in Gaza. In 2008, Israel responded to rocket fire with a full-fledged three week invasion that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, including more than 900 civilians, and 13 Israelis.

7. Egypt

After a violent revolution overthrew longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, tensions seemed to subside. More recently, however, violence between the protesters and the "temporary military regime" escalated. Flare ups killed several protesters as well as civilians clashing in sectarian conflicts in the south. Nearly 900 people have died since the protests began months ago.

6. Bahrain

Hundreds have been killed killed or injured since the protests in Bahrain, like the ones in Egypt and Libya before them, turned violent. Police continue to crack down on protesters with no end in sight, especially as unrest in the Middle East grows more widespread.

5. Syria

Up to 580+ civilians and 80 soldiers and police officers have been killed since the uprising against President al-Assad began in January. The President's family has been in power for over four decades. Hundreds have been injured and more than 1,700 arrested as the violence intensifies.

4. Yemen

More than 300 have died since the protests in Yemen turned violent. Even though President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to step aside, the protesters have not quelled, leading to more violent clashes with military forces.

3. Ivory Coast

More than 1,500 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced after violence broke out following a disputed election. Violence continues as the new president, Alassane Ouattara, is set to be sworn in at the end of May.

2. Libya

Speaking of violence the United States is involved in, the military recently began using the same type of unmanned drones that we have been using in Pakistan and Yemen to strike Libya's military capabilities in the midst of a civil war. Estimates of the casualties range anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 as the United States and NATO pushes for a ceasefire.

1. Mexico-United States Border

Of all the hotspots mentioned, none are hotter than the United States-Mexican border. Violence has been steadily rising since 2006. Since then, nearly 3,000 were killed in 2007, nearly 7,000 were killed in 2008, more than 9,600 were killed in 2009, and an astounding 15,000+ were killed in 2010 as the drug war escalates with no end in sight.

Will the World Violence Die Down or Escalate Further?

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