Watch out: These are the world’s 13 most dangerous countries.
- by Roger Gain
You might want to do some research before visiting these countries.
The major risk consultancy firm Verisk has compiled a list of the world's most dangerous countries.
The index focuses on activities such as drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion, robbery, and other acts that involve or lead to violence.
Unsurprisingly, the most dangerous nations in the world are located in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, where economies are generally less developed and political systems are more volatile.
Here’s the full list from Verisk:
Africa's largest economy has made big steps in recent years, but with the prevalence of the terrorist group Boko Haram and insurgents like the Niger Delta Avengers, the threat of violence in Nigeria remains extreme.
Colombia is one of the gateways to drug-trafficking routes into the US, with the nation producing a substantial portion of the world's cocaine. The prevalence of drug gangs makes the nation extremely dangerous.
Since the destruction of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, a power vacuum has emerged in Libya, and the nation has become a hotbed of ISIS activity.
Political and religious tensions are widespread in Pakistan, and the country is frequently plagued by terrorist atrocities. As recently as Monday, a militant group attacked an army base in the Kashmir region of the country.
Somalia is one of the world's most unstable nations and is by some criteria a failed state. Somalia is the centre of the piracy epidemic that hit the Indian Ocean in recent years and is also home to the terrorist group al-Shabab.
8. El Salvador
Located in the heart of Central America, El Salvador is plagued by gang violence and drug trafficking. It is less than a quarter of a century since the end of a brutal 12-year civil war in the country.
Like Colombia, Venezuela is one of the gateways to drug-trafficking routes into the US. The country's economy has virtually collapsed since the price of oil fell in 2014, leading to widespread food shortages and a lack of basic amenities for many people. This, in turn, has led to growing violence.
In 2015, Honduras had a homicide rate of 60 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world. The country is dominated by violent street gangs, including the two most powerful in the country, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18.
Torn apart by a horrific and devastating war between rebel forces and the government of President Bashar Assad, Syria is facing an enormous humanitarian crisis. In major cities, airstrikes are a near permanent fixture, killing thousands. Almost half a million people have died since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. ISIS' huge presence in the nation makes the situation even worse.
More than a decade after the beginning of the Iraq War, the Middle-Eastern nation is still haunted by the conflict. Iraq may now have a Western-backed government, but ISIS is rampant in some regions and violence predominates in much of the country.
As the hub for trafficking drugs between South America and North America, Mexico has a significant problem with violence. "With the security forces facing budget cuts, a deterioration in the overall security environment is likely, leaving investors exposed to risks such as extortion, theft, and potentially the kidnapping of personnel," Verisk's Mexico analyst Grant Sunderland says.
Like El Salvador and Honduras, Guatemala is a Central American nation plagued by the drug-trafficking industry. In 2015, Guatemala reported an average of 91 murders a week.
The country where violent crime is by far the most likely, is Afghanistan. The country is still ravaged by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, while the heroin trade is also active, adding to violence.