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KHAR: A significant decrease of about 44 per cent has been witnessed in violent incidents in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas during the third quarter of 2017 (July-September) compared to the previous quarter of current year, according to a report issued by the Fata Research Centre here on Thursday.

The report said that compared to 100 violent incidents in the second quarter of 2017 (April-June) only 56 such incidents, both of terrorism and counter-terrorism, were reported from July to September in all the seven agencies of Fata.

It said that of the 56 incidents, 33 were attacks carried out by terrorist outfits, while 23 were related to various counterterrorism actions.

Of the 33 terrorism incidents 17 terrorist attacks (40 per cent) targeted the security forces while 15 attacks (39 per cent) were directed against civilians, the report stated, adding that one attack launched by militants targeted members of Amn Lashkar.

The report said that all the 23 counter-terrorism actions were carried out in the ongoing “Raddul Fasaad” and “Khyber-IV” operations. It said that a breakdown of the counter-terrorism operations showed that 18 were search operations carried out against terrorist outfits. Two aerial strikes, as part of operation “Khyber-IV”, were also carried out against terrorists in Rajgal area of Khyber Agency.

The report said the casualty index witnessed a downward trend. The terrorism incidents resulted in 141 casualties – 66 killed and 75 injured – across Fata from July to September compared to 309 (137 killed and 172 injured) in the previous quarter (April-June) of the current year.

“Civilian casualties with 60 (13 killed and 47 injured) top the list followed by security forces (18 killed and 23 injured). As many as 35 militants were killed during the third quarter,” said the report.

According to Irfanuddin, an analyst at FRC, the civilian casualties witnessed a marked decline, which signified improvement in the security situation.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2017