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Terror attacks: July second deadliest in 2023 with 124 fatalities

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Police officials examine the site of a bomb blast in Bajaur district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on July 31, 2023. — AFP 
  • 124 fatalities, 218 injuries recorded in July.
  • Pakistan experienced 54 militant attacks last month.
  • 15% rise in terror attacks was witnessed in June.

ISLAMABAD: With terrorism rearing its head yet again in the country, July marked a significant upsurge in attacks, making it the second deadliest month of 2023, with 124 fatalities and 218 injuries, The News reported.

According to statistics released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), the country witnessed 54 militant attacks last month.

The victims whose lives were lost included 77 civilians and 37 security forces personnel, while 181 civilians and 36 security forces personnel sustained injuries.

Additionally, 10 militants were killed during their own actions, and security forces successfully neutralised 12 terrorists while apprehending 46 others, thwarting numerous future attacks.

Comparing the data with the previous month, June 2023, the PICSS report reveals an alarming increase in terrorist activities. 

There was a 15% rise in terror attacks, a substantial 381% increase in civilian deaths, and a concerning 131% increase in security forces fatalities. Furthermore, civilian injuries witnessed a drastic 583% rise, and security forces personnel endured a 64% increase in injuries during the same period.

The previous month also recorded the highest number of suicide attacks in any single month of the current year, with five such attacks resulting in the tragic death of 69 people and injuries to 175 others. The majority of these casualties occurred during a suicide blast at a JUI-F election rally in Bajaur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

Additionally, six improvised explosive device (IED)-based attacks were recorded, causing one fatality and injuring seven individuals, though they were mostly of low intensity. The month of July also saw a surge in targeted killings, with 14 such attacks reported, claiming 17 lives.

Analysing the regional impact, the tribal districts of KP province experienced the highest number of militant attacks in July, with 83 people killed and 181 injured in 18 reported incidents. Mainland KP saw a slight decline in attacks and casualties, with eight deaths and 11 injuries reported in 15 incidents, compared to nine deaths and 17 injuries in June 2023’s 17 incidents.

In Balochistan, there was a notable increase in militant attacks and resultant deaths. PICSS recorded 17 militant attacks in the province, resulting in the death of 32 people, including 22 security forces personnel and seven civilians, while 22 others sustained injuries, including 17 civilians and four security forces personnel.

In June 2023, Balo­chistan witnessed 10 attacks, leading to seven fatalities and four injuries. Meanwhile, Sindh experienced three terror incidents during July, while Punjab witnessed one incident, leaving one person injured.

Despite the challenges posed by the surge in terrorist activities, Pakistani security forces played a crucial role in ensuring peaceful Moharram processions during the month. They conducted combing operations across most parts of the country, with a special focus on Punjab, leading to the apprehension of 46 suspected militants.

Punjab had the highest number of suspects arrested, with 27 apprehensions. Moreover, the security forces successfully neutralized 12 militants, five of them in Balochistan, three in erstwhile FATA, and four in mainland KP.

Pakistan is currently confronting a distressing surge in suicide attacks, witnessing a significant rise in fatalities and injuries compared to the previous year. According to data released by PICSS, the country has already experienced 18 suicide attacks in the first seven months of 2023, resulting in the loss of more than 200 lives and leaving over 450 others injured. This alarming figure has surpassed the total number of suicide attacks recorded in the entirety of 2022, which stood at 15.

The most severely affected region has been the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (erstwhile FATA), accounting for half of the total suicide attacks in 2023. Nine of these attacks have struck the area, leading to the tragic demise of approximately 60 people, while over 150 others sustained injuries.

Notably, the deadliest attack of the year in the tribal region occurred during a JUIF gathering on July 30th. Mainland KP faced its own share of devastation, with four suicide attacks causing the deaths of more than 110 people and leaving 245 injured. Among them, the Peshawar Police Line attack stood out as the deadliest in the country, claiming the lives of over 100 individuals.

Balochistan also experienced a troubling wave of violence, encountering at least four suicide attacks within the first seven months of 2023. Tragically, 14 people lost their lives, and 27 others were injured in these attacks. Additionally, one reported suicide attack occurred in Sindh, resulting in the deaths of five individuals and injuring 18 others.



Originally published in The News



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