May 2021: Worrying spike in anti-State violence in Pakistan


Islamabad June 1, 2021: A significant increase in the number of militant attacks and resultant casualties was observed in Pakistan during May 2021. According to the statistics released by an Islamabad-based Independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), 24 militant attacks were recorded in May 2021 in which 41 people were killed including 21 Security forces personnel and 14 civilians while 65 others were injured including 30 security forces personnel and 27 civilians. The number of attacks increased almost twice compared with the previous month as in April 2021, 13 militant attacks were recorded in which 12 people were killed including eight civilians and four security forces personnel. The number of deaths also went up during May as 41 people were killed as compared to 12 in April.

It is worth noting that it is for the first time since October 2018 that 24 militant attacks were recorded in a single month. May became the deadliest month of the year too. The last time PICSS recorded more than 40 deaths in a month was October 2020.

According to the PICSS report, the highest number of militant attacks were reported from the Balochistan region where 14 militant attacks were carried out in which 33 people were killed including 17 security forces personnel and 11 civilians and 50 others were injured. It appeared that the militants fighting on the ethic basis in Balochistan have stepped up their attacks as most of the attacks in the province were reported from ethnic Baloch areas.

Tribal districts of KPK (Erstwhile FATA) witnessed six militant attacks in which four people were killed and ten others were injured. The rest of the KPK and Punjab witnessed two militant attacks each in which three people were killed in KPK and one was killed in Punjab. Similarly, attacks carried out in KPK caused three injuries and while in Punjab caused two injuries. No militant attack was reported from Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) during May.

As per the PICSS report, out of these 24 militant attacks, eight were incidents of physical assault causing the majority of deaths in which 22 people were killed including 15 security forces personnel and one civilian while 21 security forces personnel were injured. Similarly, eight IED-based attacks were carried out in which 12 people were killed including eight civilians and four security personnel forces personnel, and 31 others were injured including 22 civilians and nine security forces personnel. Six target killings were carried out in which seven people were killed including five civilians and two security forces personnel while two injured. One grenade attack was also reported in which one civilian was injured. No suicide attack or kidnapping incident was reported during the month. In April, 10 security forces actions were reported in which seven militants were killed while 12 suspected militants were apprehended. Three security forces personnel were also killed in these operations. The highest number of security forces actions were reported from Sindh where five notable security forces actions were monitored in which ten suspected militants were arrested. Two security forces’ actions were monitored each in KPK and Balochistan. In these operations, one militant was killed and two others were arrested in KPK while 4 militants were killed in the Balochistan region. Erstwhile FATA witnessed one security forces action in which three security forces personnel and two militants were killed. While Punjab witnessed no security forces action.


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