PESHAWAR, Nov 4: Khyber Agency has recorded the highest number of subversive acts during the current year as compared to other parts of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).
The data complied by offices of political administration in Fata shows that total 96 bomb blasts, suicide and rocket attacks have occurred in Khyber Agency between January and October this year.
These incidences have left at least 100 civilians and 20 security personnel dead besides injuring 60 others, the record shows.
Army and paramilitary forces have been conducting operations in Khyber Agency since 2009, but they have yet to evict militants from the area, situated at a stone’s throw from Peshawar.
The volatile agency has also topped the list of kidnapping for ransom incidents among all tribal units as it recorded 40 cases in which people were picked up and taken there before making demands for money from the relatives of the kidnapped persons.
Main militant groups like Lashkar-i-Islam, Tawheedul Islam, Ansaarul Islam, Haji Namdar group and Abdullah Ezzam Brigade have been operating in the area, according to sources. The infighting among these militant outfits and subsequent military operations caused mass exoduses from the militancy-stricken area.
According to Fata Disaster Management Authority’s report, around 71,000 displaced families, who left their native homes in the wake of lawlessness, had been registered with it.
Officials blamed deaths and civilian casualties in Khyber Agency on artillery shelling and rocket attacks.
The trouble started in Khyber Agency in 2003 when supporters of two rival sectarian groups led by Mufti Shakir and Pir Saifur Rehman respectively clashed in Bara. Mufti and Pir were expelled from the area in 2004. However, the sectarian clashes resulted in emergence of Mangal Bagh group.
Interestingly, official reports portray situation in South Waziristan Agency, the birthplace of Taliban in Fata, as relatively quite and calm. No loss of life of civilians and security forces has been reported from South Waziristan where total 20 attacks, including improvised explosive devices and roadside blasts, took place though media had reported that 30 security personnel and five civilians were killed in these acts of violence.
Also, decline has been witnessed in suicide attacks in Fata in the current year. Sources said that political authorities had confirmed four suicide attacks in tribal areas one each in Bajaur, Khyber and Kurram agencies and Frontier Region of Kohat.
Militants had reportedly carried out nine suicide attacks in Fata in 2011.
Officials said that situation in Bajaur Agency was pretty normal though acts of violence had occurred in the area. According to reports, 10 blasts and 15 missile attacks had taken place in Bajaur that claimed lives of 24 civilians and 10 soldiers. Around 100 civilians and security personnel have suffered injuries in these attacks.
“Confidence of local people in government has been restored as people contact government offices for resolution of their disputes contrary to the past when they would approach the Taliban-run courts for the same,” said an official.
He termed it a major breakthrough, saying it was an indication that state’s writ was established.
Situation in previously troubled Mohmand Agency also remained under control during the past 10 months after subsequent military offensives against militants. Officials said that security forces flushed out militants from villages and towns of Mohmand and consolidated government’s writ there.
An official said that 39 bomb and rocket attacks had taken place in Mohmand Agency.
Situation in violence-stricken Kurram Agency is still murky, particularly in the lower and central subdivisions of the area where 50 civilians died and 90 received wounds in suicide attacks and other subversive activities.
North Waziristan Agency, the nest of various militant outfits, also remained tense because of night attacks on security installations, military convoys and roadside blasts. Around 60 attacks had been taken place in the area that killed 20 civilians and soldiers besides injuring 50 others.