Militant attacks declined in March

Published April 2, 2015
Report says compared to February, there was over 23pc decline in militant attacks and 12pc in deaths.—AFP/File
Report says compared to February, there was over 23pc decline in militant attacks and 12pc in deaths.—AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Though there was a decline in militant attacks in the wake of the operations in Karachi and Waziristan in March, 63 terror incidents were reported in different parts of the country which left 100 people dead and 162 injured.

This was stated in a monthly report released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies here on Wednesday.

“In March, there was over 23 per cent decline in militant attacks, almost 12 per cent in deaths and more than 19 per cent in the number of injuries compared to February.”

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The report added that militant attacks had been decreasing since the start of the operations in Fata, particularly post-National Action Plan (NAP) after the attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014.

According to the report, security forces conducted 97 actions across the country in which 230 people (mostly suspected militants) were killed, 43 others injured and 667 arrested.

Report says compared to February, there was over 23pc decline in militant attacks and 12pc in deaths

Though the number of actions remained almost the same as in February, casualties increased by almost 166 per cent, suggesting that it was due to the military operation Khyber-II in Khyber Agency, which was a sequel to the operation Khyber-I.

Militant activities in Balochistan also witnessed a decline compared to the first two months of the year. In 30 militant activities during the month, 36 people were killed, 19 others injured and five kidnapped.

However, militants continued targeting national installations, gas and electricity infrastructure.

In Fata, terror activities remained on the decrease during the first quarter of the year. In seven militant activities reported during March, 19 people were killed and 20 injured. With the start of the military operation Khyber-II, which is particularly targeting militants in Tirah Valley and close to the Afghan border, spaces for the militants are further squeezed.

The report added that militants tried to put a joint show in Khyber Agency through the recently-announced alliance between the outlawed TTP, Jamatul Ahrar and Lashker-i-Islam.

“However, the strong arm tactics of the state seemed to overpower the alliance to pose any serious threat in near future.”

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed 13 militant attacks in March in which 12 people were killed and 16 injured. Though militant activities were slightly higher than in February as well as January, the resultant deaths and injuries were less than the previous month.

In Sindh, militant activities were almost identical as were witnessed in the previous two months.

However, the number of deaths and injuries went slightly up compared to February.

In Karachi, the targeted operation by Rangers is showing positive results.

The report stated that militant activities in Punjab showed the previous trend but the number of casualties and injuries increased.

In three militant activities recorded during the month, 18 people were killed and 72 injured.

Two suicide attacks were recorded during March — one on two churches in Lahore which left 17 people dead and the other in Karachi in which two Rangers personnel were killed. Moreover, 20 bomb explosions, two grenade attacks, 18 assaults, three rocket attacks and 14 target killing incidents were also reported in March.

Defence analyst Imtiaz Gul told Dawn that though the graph of militant attacks had been falling for the last six months, after the APS incident the National Action Plan was put in place and the military operation expedited.

“A major reason for the decline in terror activities is that Operation Zarb-i-Azb was started in Fata, Rangers launched an operation in Karachi while the Balochistan government engaged nationalists in a dialogue,” he said.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2015

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