Published On: Wed, Jan 8th, 2014
Published in Category: Islamabad

Decline in militant attacks, escalation of TTP’s activities in Karachi in 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Number of anti-state militant attacks in Pakistan declined in 2013, while a slight increase in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and unprecedented escalation in Sindh was observed during the year.

In a report issued in Conflict Monitoring Center (CMC) says that overall reduction in militant attacks was 10% and most significant reduction was observed in Balochistan and FATA. In Balochistan militant attacks declined by 29 % while security situation also improved in FATA where 22% reduction was observed.

In Sindh, 138 % increase in militant attacks point out gravity of the security situation in the province mostly in Karachi.

As per report, majority of the victims in militant attacks were ordinary civilians while security forces also lost hundreds of their personnel during the year. Monitoring Center recorded 1144 militant attacks during 2013 in which 2595 people were killed and 5035 injured.

The dead include 1402 civilian (54%), 623 militants (24%), 523 security forces personnel (20%) and 47 Razakars (2%). Among the injured, 3891 were civilians (77%), 928 security forces personal (18.5%), 173 militants (3.5%) and 43 Razakars (1%).

Although the number of militant attacks dropped in 2013, however increase in resultant deaths and injuries made it more lethal year than 2012. Rise in deaths and injuries were a result of rise in suicide attacks and subsequent deaths.

In 2012, militant had carried out 28 suicide attacks, which killed 194 people while 47 suicide attacks were carried out in 2013 killing 699 people.

Improvement in security situation in FATA was visible from the fact that number of militant attacks as well as resultant casualties both had declined during the year. Civilian deaths in FATA declined by about 44 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.

Decline in militant attacks in FATA can be attributed to some developments took place during 2013. Most significant was military operation in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency.

CMC’s data shows that in 2012, 67% of militant attacks in FATA were recorded in Khyber Agency, while military operation in Tirah Valley in April 2013 and consistent pressure on militants in other parts of the Khyber Agency resulted in at least 42% drop in militant attacks in the Agency.

It is pertinent to note that Khyber Agency is strategically more important than other Agencies of FATA as it is adjacent to Peshawar, the provincial capital of KPK province as well as lies in route of major NATO supply through Torkham border.

Militant attacks in FATA also saw a decline after backdoor efforts initiated by federal government to bring TTP to participate in peace talks. Not only militant attacks but also a downward trend was observed in security forces actions in FATA until December when North Waziristan saw escalation in hostilities by militants and retaliatory actions by security forces.

In Balochistan, average militant attacks per month dropped from 36 to 25 in 2013. The downward trend in militant attacks in Balochistan had started during last quarter of 2012 and continued in 2013.

It was observed during 2013 that TTP have expanded its operation in Karachi. Previously it used to use the city for financial and logistic activities but now the group has started to conduct militant operations on regular basis in the city.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) constituted majority of the militant attacks during the year. However, 12% drop in IED attacks was observed in 2013. The number of physical militant assaults also dropped by 20% in 2013.

After ‘All Parties Conference’ convened by Prime Minister (PM) Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in September 2013, an unannounced ceasefire-like situation had developed in FATA from security forces’ side. The CMC also observed that no escalation of militant attacks took place after Hakeemullah Mehsud’s death in a drone attack.

At least 847 people were killed in 431 militant attacks in KP, 305 such occurrences claimed 803 lives in FATA, and 680 persons became victims of 310 such incidents in Balochistan. In Sind and Punjab, 81 and 11 militant attacks claimed lives of 225 and 21 people, respectively.

In Gilgit–Baltistan, 14 people were killed in two militant attacks while three such attacks took lives of two people in Islamabad capital territory. In Azad Kashmir, a single violent militant activity was reported claiming lives of two militants.

The militants killed 797 people and left 2505 others wounded in 474 IED explosions. They claimed lives of 684 persons and injured 588 in 349 physical assaults while 70 people became victim of gunfire / targeted killing in 52 such incidents.

The militants also kidnapped 162 people: 79 in Balochistan, 45 in FATA, 36 in KP, and one each in Sind and Punjab. At least 35 people including 29 civilians and 6 security personnel were killed after being kidnapped by the militants.

The security forces took 550 actions claiming lives of 1028 people, including 884 suspected militants, 94 civilians and 50 security personnel. The highest, 221 security actions, and 32 resultant deaths were reported in KP while highest i.e. 873, deaths in such actions took place in FATA in 144 security actions.

The forces detained at least 3094 suspected militants; the highest, 1184 in KP, 729 in Punjab, 706 in FATA, 314 in Balochistan, 123 in Sind, 23 in Gilgit–Baltistan and 15 in Islamabad capital territory. The forces foiled at least 163 attempts of subversion, by defusing IEDs.
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