ISLAMABAD: Militant attacks witnessed a surge in the month of February this year, but the resultant deaths were down as compared to January.

An attack by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Karachi Police Headquarters was the most high-profile attack in the month of February.

According to the statistics released by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), militants carried out 58 attacks during the past month in which 62 people were killed, including 27 civilians, 18 security forces personnel and 17 militants while 134 people were injured, including 54 civilians and 80 security forces personnel.

The database showed that for the first time after June 2015, the country faced 58 attacks in a single month. The upward trajectory of anti-state violence continued in February as 32 per cent more insurgents’ attacks were recorded compared with January 2023. However, the number of deaths declined by 56 per cent compared with January.

In January, most deaths occurred due to the Peshawar Police Line suicide attack.

“The number of suicide attacks also increased but their impact was not as devastating as it was in January. In February 2023, three suicide attacks were reported in which nine people were killed and 37 were injured. In January, 106 people were killed and 216 injured in two suicide attacks,” the statement said on Wednesday.

The month of February saw a considerable decline in militant attacks in mainland KP while attacks increased in erstwhile Fata (tribal districts of KP) and Balochistan. The number of attacks also went up in Punjab and Sindh. An attack by TTP at Karachi Police Headquarters was the most high-profile attack in the month of February.

In February, Pakistani security forces further stepped up their actions against militant groups and killed at least 55 suspected militants. At least 75 suspected militants were also arrested from across the country. The majority of the suspects were arrested in Punjab and KP.

According to statistics, the highest number of militant attacks were reported in Balochistan where PICSS recorded at least 22 attacks in which 25 people were killed and 61 injured.

Erstwhile Fata faced 16 attacks in which 16 people were killed and 39 injured. Mainland KP witnessed 13 attacks in which six people were killed and eight were injured. Punjab witnessed four militant attacks in which two people were killed and eight injured while 10 people were killed and 18 injured in three reported militant attacks in Sindh.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2023

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