ISLAMABAD: Pakistan witnessed a rather peaceful March with the number of militant attacks declining as compared to February. However, the number of deaths remained almost the same, according to an Islamabad-based think tank.

In its report, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) stated that in March there was a 36 per cent decline in militant attacks as compared to February.

The number of attacks stood at 37 in which 57 people lost their lives and 72 others were injured. In February, 59 people were killed in 58 attacks while 134 were wounded.

The report also recorded a decline in suicide bombing in March, as only one such attack was reported, compared to three in February.

Study finds surge in number of casualties in KP, Balochistan during March

According to the province-wise data, Balochistan witnessed a 50pc decline in the number of militant attacks in March, but the death toll increased. The militants carried out 11 attacks in March, killing 28 people and injuring 35.

The lone suicide attack in March was also reported from the Bolan area of the province where 10 people lost their lives. The attack was separately claimed by the militant Islamic State group and a new outfit Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan.

The most significant improvement in the security situation was observed in KP’s tribal districts. Six militant attacks were recorded in March against 16 in February, while the number of deaths declined from 16 to five.

Mainland KP witnessed a rise in militancy with 16 reported attacks in which 21 people were killed and 30 injured. In February, 13 attacks were recorded, killing six people and leaving eight wounded.

During March, no militant attack was reported in Punjab, while three people were killed in four attacks reported from Sindh. In February, 10 people were killed and 18 others injured in three attacks in Sindh.

No militant activity was reported from Punjab, Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan in March.

Foiled bids

Also in March, security forces conducted at least 25 operations and successfully foiled several attacks. In Chaman a huge cache of arms and ammunition including 10 suicide vests, 15 anti-tank mines, IEDs, was seized from a compound.

In another operation, security forces killed a facilitator of the Feb 11 suicide attack in North Waziristan. According to the report, the IBOs resulted in the arrest of 35 suspected militants, while 38 were shot dead.

Published in Dawn, April 3rd, 2023

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