Kashmir This has been disputed territory since the partition of India in 1947. The Indo-Pakistani conflict involves groups with religious/political motivations, such as Jaish-e-Mohammad, which seeks “liberation” for the region, as well as the destruction of the United States and India. Equal nuclear empowerment and 2004 peace talks have reduced the violence, but Kashmir remains one of the most militarised regions in the world.
Sri Lanka The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting since 1983 for the autonomy of the minority Hindu Tamil population in the country’s northern and eastern regions. The Black Tiger squad conducts suicide bombings; it also runs its own intelligence service, naval element (the Sea Tigers) and women’s political and military wings.
Israel/Palestine The struggle for land between the Jewish state of Israel and Palestine’s displaced Arabs continues, despite peace processes and repeated international intervention. Tactics include suicide bombings and attacks against civilian and military targets. In January the militant Islamic movement Hamas won 76 out of the 132 seats in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.
Turkey The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is a militant secessionist group pushing for an independent Kurdish state in south-eastern Turkey as well as parts of Iraq, Iran and Syria. The most recent attack attributed to the PKK was on a tourist bus in July last year.
Somalia The Islamist group al-Ittihad al-Islamiya aims to establish a radical Sunni state and regain the Ogaden region of Ethiopia via an insurgent campaign. Militant elements are suspected of aligning with the “global jihad” ideology of al-Qaeda.
Libya The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group seeks to replace the current Libyan regime with a hardline Islamist state. The group has mounted several operations inside Libya, including a 1996 attempt to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi.
Chechnya A loosely organised group of local (and therefore Muslim) separatists opposes the Russian army. Members have employed brutal tactics against civilian targets, including hospitals and theatres. In 2004, the separatists’ leader, Shamil Basayev, ordered an attack on a school in Beslan, killing 330 people, most of them children.
Colombia The Ejército de Liberación Nacional or National Liberation Army is a Marxist guerrilla group founded in 1964. It is notorious for ransom kidnappings, armed attacks and extorting money from the oil industry. Farc (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) is a larger operation that imposes “taxes” on all drugs operations. It is one of the richest insurgent groups in the world.