Escalation in militant attacks

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During the week under review, security situation in the country has shown sign of volatility with phenomenal increase in violent militant activities. 53 militant activities were recorded during the week in which 59 people were killed, 71 others injured while three people were kidnapped. Continuing with the trend of previous week, violence further escalated. As compared to previous week, almost 42pc increase in militant activities, 195pc increase in fatalities, and 11pc increase in injuries was noticed. Since start of military operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014, these were the highest number of incidents in any week. As indicated in Table-1, KP witnessed most of the incidents with a tally of 21 (almost 42pc) followed by Balochistan where 15 militants’ activities were monitored.

Security forces, particularly police, remained the prime target of militants across the country especially in KP, Baluchistan and Sindh (Karachi). Prominent incidents of the week included a suicide blast carried out by militants when police intercepted and responded to an assault by a group of about six militants on a police station in Tahl area of Hangu (KP); three security forces personnel were killed and two others injured when militants attacked Security forces Fort at Spinwam area of North Waziristan; cross-border attack in Dandi Kuch check-post in Spinwam area of North Waziristan was repulsed by security forces killing 11 assaulters and  arresting one of them while three FC personnel were killed in ensuing gun-battle; snatching of oil tanker by militants followed by security forces action arresting five militants in Washuk district of Balochistan but militants re-launched the attack in group on FC camp wounding three personnel and took away arrested militants as well as weapons and vehicles; killing of two policemen including an officer and three militants in militants’ attack in Jani Khel area of Bannu; an IED blast in Quetta wounding 13 people. During the week militants twice attacked Frontier Works Organization (FWO) which is deployed in Kech district of Balochistan for construction of road. There were numerous other incidents in the country mostly of target killing, physical assault, etc.

Apparently, there are all signs of revival of militancy in KP while Balochistan was already facing this brunt for quite some time. Although some spectacular attacks are missing but incidents of comparatively lower intensity speak volume of trouble in KP and Balochistan. This increase in militants’ activities could possibly be due to hyper-activeness of various splinter and other minor groups. There is possibility that involvement of provincial government, led by PTI, in agitation in federal capital might have provided an opportunity to militants to increase their activities. In addition, break-away factions of TTP might be making efforts to mark their relevance and presence in various areas. Region-wise break up of militants’ activities is given in Table-1. Self-explanatory graphical description of militant activities, their geographical distribution, type of attacks and their impact, etc is given in Figures 1-5.

As reflected in Figure-4 & 5, targeted killing has witnessed a substantial increase in the recent past. In such incidents not only prominent religious leaders are targeted (sectarian killing) but also security forces personnel (especially policemen), professionals like doctors, etc, are specifically targeted.

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