ISLAMABAD: At least 854 people were killed or wounded in militant attacks and counterterrorism operations in the first quarter of this year, a number that was half of what witnessed during the entire 2022, a report showed on Saturday.

According to the report, prepared by the Centre for Research and Security Studies, the number of deaths was 358 and that of injuries was 496, which resulted from as many as 219 terrorist attacks and counterterrorism operations during the January-March period.

Most deaths — 245 (or 68 per cent) — were reported from KP, followed by Balochistan’s 64 (18pc), and then in Sindh, Punjab and Islamabad.

The report said that 2023 started with the most fatal January for security forces in a decade, following a similar trend from the previous year, which ended with the decade’s deadliest Dec for them.

With a death toll of 111, January recorded the second-highest number of fatalities of security personnel in a single month, second only to July 2014 with 118 fatalities.

However, violence-related fatalities of civilians dropped by more than half to 63 in the first quarter compared to 136 a year ago.

“Most concerningly, the fatalities of security and government officials almost doubled, from 88 in the first quarter of last year to 167 in the first quarter this year,” the report said.

The terrorist attacks agai­nst security personnel, government officials, and civilians accounted for most incidents of violence and counter-violence that took place in the first quarter. The outlawed TTP carried out at least 22 attacks causing 107 fatalities.­

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2023

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