Pakistan Witnessed 245 Terror Attacks, Counter-Terror Operations In First Quarter Of 2024: Think Tank Report

Islamabad, Apr 1: Pakistan witnessed as many as 245 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations during the first quarter of 2024, resulting in 432 fatalities and 370 injuries among civilians, security personnel and rebels, according to a think tank report.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan provinces, both bordering Afghanistan, accounted for over 92 per cent of all fatalities and 86 per cent of attacks (including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations) during this period. Individually, the former suffered 51 per cent and the latter 41 per cent of all fatalities in the first quarter of 2024, according to the security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS).
The data indicates that the remaining regions were relatively peaceful, suffering less than 8 per cent of all fatalities.
Interestingly, militant organisations claimed responsibility for less than 20 per cent of the total casualties attributed to terrorism in the first quarter of 2024.
A new militant group named Jabhat Ansar al-Mahdi Khorasan (JAMK), affiliated with the Gul Bahadur group, has emerged.
In addition to the casualties of terrorism and counter-terrorism, there were 64 incidents of sabotage in the country targeting properties of the government, politicians, and private and security properties.
In the first quarter, Balochistan recorded a staggering 96 per cent surge in violence, with fatalities jumping to 178 from 91 in the last quarter of 2023.
Sindh saw a nearly 47 per cent rise in violence, though the number of fatalities was very low. However, the regions of KP, Punjab, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) recorded encouraging decreases in violence by 24 per cent, 85 per cent, and 65 per cent, respectively.
Despite a notable decrease in violence observed in GB during the period under review, the GB home minister issued a terror threat alert on March 31, 2024, on the possibility of attacks by the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The alert came following a suicide attack on a convoy of Chinese engineers in the Shangla district of KP who were working on the Dasu Dam project, resulting in the deaths of five Chinese nationals and a local driver. It’s worth noting that last year, GB suffered the highest number of fatalities in a decade, with 17 lives lost, the report stated.
In the first quarter of the current year, civilians and security forces personnel suffered over 65 per cent (281) of all fatalities in nearly 200 terror attacks, compared to outlaws suffering only 35 per cent (151) in around 48 counter-terror operations.
The attacks on security officials and civilians outnumbered the security operations conducted against the outlaws by almost fourfold.
Civilians suffered 154 fatalities (36 per cent), which is more than any other category of victims.
Compared to the last quarter of 2023, the fatalities of civilians and security officials combined surged by 17 per cent, whereas the fatalities of outlaws, militants, and insurgents combined decreased by almost 15 per cent in the first quarter of 2024.
Surprisingly, certain terrorist outfits, such as the banned Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), Lashkar-i-Islami (LI), and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LeJ), which were highly active the previous year, have abstained from claiming any acts of terrorism this quarter. Only the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the militant Islamic State group, or Daesh, have claimed responsibility for some attacks.
The banned insurgent groups, Balochistan Liberation Army, Baloch Liberation Front, Baloch Raaji Ajoi Sangar, and Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army, claimed responsibility for 18 attacks (three times more than the claims of the militant groups) in the first quarter, causing 42 fatalities and 40 injuries. The prime targets of the insurgent groups were the security and government installations, including Gwadar Port Complex, Mach Jail, and Turbat Naval Base.
In the first quarter, eight incidents of sectarian violence were reported, impacting all religious communities, including Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Among the non-Muslim communities, Ahmadis endured the highest casualties (9), while three fatalities occurred among Shias due to violence. Additionally, a Sunni was also targeted in an act of violence, according to the report. (Agencies)

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