Punjab police’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) has claimed to have rounded up eight militants belonging to banned outfits in separate raids in Sargodha and Lahore, a CTD statement issued on Saturday said.

According to a statement issued by the CTD, law enforcement personnel and a CTD team arrested five suspects from Lahore and three from Sargodha.

It said law enforcers also seized explosives, detonators, and other related equipment that the suspects were allegedly planning to use in terror activities.

The CTD added that 382 combing operations were conducted with the help of law enforcement personnel during this week in which 59 suspects were arrested, while 18,020 people were checked.

Over the past few months, the law and order situation in the country — especially in KP and Balochistan has worsened — with terrorist groups executing attacks with near impunity across the country.

Since the talks with the TTP broke down in November, the militant group has intensified its attacks, particularly targeting the police in KP and areas bordering Afghanistan. Insurgents in Balochistan have also stepped up their violent activities and formalised a nexus with the outlawed TTP.

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. Similarly, a month before, a powerful suicide blast in a mosque in Peshawar Police Lines killed 84 people and injured many others.

According to a report released recently by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), militant attacks witnessed a surge in the month of February this year, but the resultant deaths were down as compared to January.

The report said 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.

It said 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 February, the report said, 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.

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