May 1, 2024

April 2024: Surge in Militant Attacks, Moderate Human Impact vs. March: PICSS Report

Islamabad, May 1, 2024: Following a brief lull in March, militant attacks in Pakistan surged once more in April 2024, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly its southern districts, bearing the brunt. These findings were disclosed by the Islamabad-based think tank, Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), in its monthly security assessment report. According to PICSS statistics, the country experienced at least 77 verifiable militant attacks during April, resulting in 70 fatalities, including 35 civilians and 31 security forces personnel, with four militants killed, and 67 individuals injured, among whom were 32 civilians and 35 security forces personnel. In comparison, March 2024 saw 56 militant attacks, resulting in 77 fatalities and 67 injuries. This indicates a 38 percent increase in the number of militant attacks, although there was a 9 percent decline in deaths, with no change in the number of injuries.

The PICSS security report also underscored the efforts of Pakistani security forces in thwarting numerous potential attacks during the month. At least 55 suspected militants were killed, and 12 others were arrested, including individuals involved in the Basham suicide attack, marking a 55 percent increase in militant deaths compared to March.

The report further highlighted that 73 percent of the total militant attacks reported in April occurred in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, including its tribal districts, with 56 attacks reported in the province during the month in which 43 people were killed including 26 security forces personnel and 17 civilians while 32 people were injured including 19 security forces personnel and 13 civilians Within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, mainland districts saw more attacks and fatalities than tribal districts (formerly FATA). Mainland Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed 31 attacks, resulting in 25 fatalities and 10 injuries. The southern districts of DI Khan, Lakki Marwat, Bannu, and Tank were the most affected, with DI Khan and Lakki Marwat facing seven militant attacks each, Bannu facing six, and Tank witnessing two attacks. Together, these districts accounted for 71 percent of the attacks in mainland Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Additionally, the capital Peshawar faced four attacks, while other districts such as Swat, Swabi, Charsadda, Shangla, and Batagram experienced one attack each.

In the tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly FATA), PICSS recorded at least 25 attacks, resulting in 18 fatalities and 22 injuries. North Waziristan, Bajour, and South Waziristan were the most affected districts, with nine, five, and four attacks reported, respectively.

According to the PICSS report, Balochistan faced 16 attacks, resulting in 21 fatalities, including 17 civilians and four security forces personnel, with 31 individuals injured. Most of these attacks were concentrated in the Baloch belt of the province, particularly in the south and southwest. Specifically, three attacks were reported from Khuzdar, two from Kech, Kohlu, and Quetta each, and one each from Chaman, Dera Bugti, Duki, Kalat, Kharan, Mastung, and Nushki.

Punjab also witnessed a surge in militant activities, with four attacks reported in April compared to one in March, resulting in three fatalities. Similarly, one attack was reported in Sindh, resulting in three fatalities.

In the first four months of the year, Pakistan experienced a total of 323 militant attacks, resulting in 324 fatalities and 387 injuries.

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