ISLAMABAD: The number of militant attacks in August was the highest tally for monthly strikes in almost nine years, according to data released by a think tank on Saturday.

There were 99 attacks across the country, the highest number in a single month since November 2014, according to data compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS).

The numbers released by the Islamabad-based think tank were lower than the 147 attacks claimed by the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), most of which couldn’t be verified through independent sources, PICSS said, adding it only recorded verified terrorism attacks.

The attacks resulted in the deaths of 112 civilians and security forces personnel while 87 were injured.

PICSS report shows 99 terror strikes across country claimed 112 lives; no attacks reported in Punjab

The data showed a month-on-month increase of 83 per cent, compared to 54 attacks reported in July.

There were four suicide attacks in August, three in tribal districts and one in mainland Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Overall, the country witnessed 22 suicide attacks in the first eight months of 2023, in which 227 people were killed and 497 injured.

Balochistan and erstwhile Fata were the regions most affected by violence in August. The former witnessed a 65pc increase in attacks, from 17 in July to 28 in August, while there were 37 attacks in the latter, up by 106pc from 18 in July. However, both regions recorded a decrease in fatalities, by 19pc and 29pc, respectively.

The attacks also increased in mainland KP, up by 83pc from 15 in July to 29 in August. The deaths and injuries also increased by 188pc and 73pc, respectively.

The province was mainly targeted by the outlawed TTP and its splinter groups, who claimed responsibility for several attacks.

Sindh witnessed a slight increase in militant attacks, from three in July to five in August. The deaths also increased from one to four.

Punjab remained relatively peaceful, with no militant attack reported in August. The only attack reported in July was a low-intensity blast near a police station in Lahore, which caused one injury.

The data also revealed that security forces remained the primary target of violence, accounting for 50pc of the total deaths and 63pc of the total injured.

There was a 51pc rise in military fatalities in August compared to July 2023.The security forces also responded to the militancy threat and killed at least 24 alleged militants and arrested 69 in operations across the country.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2023

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