ISLAMABAD: As many as 7,655 people were killed in terrorism, militant attacks, sectarian violence, targeted killings, security operations and drone strikes in 2014 compared to 5,687 similar deaths in 2013.
The deaths because of security operations increased by three times but fatalities from the militant attacks, terrorism and targeted killings decreased by 15 per cent. However, 35 per cent increase in the overall deaths was recorded during the year.
These figures were presented by Mohammad Nafees Farooqi, senior research fellow, Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), at the launching ceremony of a “Conflict/violence report for the year 2014” on Friday.
“The major increase in violence was observed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), where fatalities more than doubled from 1,457 in 2013 to 3,399 in 2014. The major reason for the increase in deaths in Fata is the military-led operation Zarb-i-Azb in the North Waziristan Agency,” he said.
“The second largest increase was in Punjab where deaths from violence rose by 158 per cent from 120 in 2013 to 309 in 2014. A part of this increased figure may be attributed to the November 1, 2014, bombing at the Wagah border which left 60 people dead,” he said.
The report added that Khyber Pukhtunkhwa saw a decrease in violence-related deaths - 945 in 2014 compared to 1,031 deaths in 2013. Gilgit-Baltistan saw the largest decrease in violence-related casualties from 20 in 2013 to just three in 2014.
The sudden increase in deaths started from June 2014 which can be attributed to the start of the military operation.
CRSS report says 15pc decrease noted in terror-related deaths during 2014
Deaths from violence accelerated towards the end of the year compared to year 2013. The last three months of the year were especially bloody with an alarming 258 per cent increase compared to 2013.
The report said 1,498 of the total fatalities were a direct result of terror attacks, of which militant organisations claimed responsibility for 613 killings.
As many as 40.9 per cent of all the fatalities attributed to terror attacks were claimed by the militant groups.
A total of 133 women and 270 children were also killed in violence of one form or another. About 40 schools and three colleges were also bombed while 26 principals, professors and teachers as well as 143 students were killed.
The highest fatalities - 2,029 - were observed in Karachi while North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Agency witnessed 1,825 and 1,187 deaths, respectively. As many as 431 people were killed in Peshawar and 170 in Quetta.
The report said the largest number of deaths in 2014 were militants (3,460) and criminals (595). The second largest group to be killed in violence-related incidents was civilians (2,395), followed by security officials (741). Moreover, 186 politicians, including party workers, 52 individuals affiliated with religious organisations and nine journalists were also killed in 2014.
Zeeshan Salahuddin, the director communications and strategy CRSS, said 3,380 of the deaths occurred because of security operations.
“As many as 2,125 people lost their lives in targeted killings, 982 in militant attacks, 516 in terror incidents and 209 in drone attacks,” he said.
Imtiaz Gul, the head of the CRSS, said the information about the deaths in 2014 was collected from the print media.
“As many as 30 suicide attacks were reported in 2014 but these suicide bombers were not included in the list of people killed during the year,” he said.
Published in Dawn January 10th , 2014