LONDON - The American Centre of Combating Terrorism (CTC), an independent research institute at the West Point military academy in the US, in its newly-published report on Wednesday revealed that the number of suicide attacks around the world last year decreased in a decade. However, Pakistan and Afghanistan are not among the countries to have benefited from this downward trend. Assaf Moghadan, an associate professor at CTC, examined the 1,944 suicide attacks that took place between 1981 and June 2008 and found a significant shift away from Iraq and towards Pakistan and Afghanistan over the last three years. Between July 2007 and June 2008 - the last one-year period for which data on suicide attacks is available - 58.2 per cent of attacks took place in Iraq and 36.6 per cent in Afghanistan and Pakistan, compared with 69.3 per cent in Iraq and 25.1pc in Afghanistan and Pakistan the year before. Moghadan found that Pakistan suffered the sharpest rise in suicide attacks - 12.9 per cent of all attacks between July 2007 and June 2008, up from 3.14 per cent in the previous 12-month period. Grim as they are, the statistics yield one significant positive finding - the prediction that 2008 should see a fall in the number of suicide attacks in the first time for a decade. During the first half of last year, 198 suicide attacks took place, suggesting a total of less than 400 for 2008, Moghadan writes in the January issue of CTC Sentinel. This compares to 535 for 2007, the deadliest toll in the last nine years. However, he warns: "It is far too early for the United States and its allies to become complacent about the potential trend. "While it is true that the occurrence of suicide attacks - especially in Iraq - has decreased, the United States and its friends should be wary of a further increase of this tactic where Salafi-jihadis are establishing a new foothold or are maintaining a viable presence. "Most suicide attacks are carried out by Salafi-jihadi groups, which emerged from the war fought by the Soviet Forces in Afghanistan in the early 1980s."