Just 10 armed conflicts account for 80 percent of fatalities across the world, according to a new report released Tuesday.
In its Armed Conflict Survey 2017, the International Institute for Strategic Studies says civilians caught in conflicts across the world continue to suffer.
The total death toll from armed conflicts was 157,000 last year, down from 167,000 in 2015.
The war in Syria was the world's most lethal conflict for the fifth year in a row, according to the report. But it claims an unlikely second place for Mexico, whose battle with criminal cartels claimed 23,000 lives last year.
"The death toll in Mexico's conflict surpasses those for Afghanistan and Somalia," said John Chipman, who heads the IISS.
"This is all the more surprising, considering that the conflict deaths are nearly all attributable to small arms. Mexico is a conflict marked by the absence of artillery, tanks or combat aviation," Chipman added.
Besides Syria and Mexico, the most lethal conflicts were in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, South Sudan and Nigeria.