Syria Overtakes Afghanistan As World's Least-Peaceful Nation

Syria has overtaken Afghanistan as the world's least-peaceful country, according to a new study, with South Sudan coming in third.

The Global Peace Index examines 22 indicators across 162 countries, including military spending, homicide rates, and deaths from conflict, civil disobedience, and terrorism.

Iraq, Somalia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, North Korea, and Russia also fared poorly in the index, which was compiled before the recent upsurge in fighting erupted in Iraq.

The United States also saw its position decline due to last year's Boston Marathon bombing.

The report finds that rising global violence caused the world's governments to spend an estimated $9.8 trillion -- 11.3 percent of global gross domestic product -- on containing or dealing with the consequences of violence.

Iceland tops the index as the most peaceful country, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Finland, Canada and Japan.

dpa and Reuters
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