Islamabad, August 1, 2023 – July marked a notable escalation in terrorist activities in Pakistan, emerging as the second deadliest month of the year with 124 fatalities and 218 injuries reported in terror attacks. According to statistics released by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), a prominent Islamabad-based think tank, July saw a total of 54 militant attacks in the country. Among the victims, 77 were civilians, 37 were security forces personnel, while 181 civilians and 36 security forces personnel were injured. Additionally, ten militants lost their lives during their own initiated actions, and security forces managed to eliminate 12 militants and apprehend 46 others, effectively averting several potential attacks.
Comparing the data with the previous month, June 2023, the PICSS report reveals an alarming increase in terrorist activities. There was a 15 percent rise in terror attacks, a substantial 381 percent increase in civilian deaths, and a concerning 131 percent increase in security forces fatalities. Furthermore, civilian injuries witnessed a drastic 583 percent rise, and security forces personnel endured a 64 percent increase in injuries during the same period.
July 2023 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 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. Twenty-two 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.