Press Release: 2 March, 2016
Human losses in militant attacks have seen significant decline during the month of February 2016, observed Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies –an Islamabad-based independent think tank. Fifty percent reduction in deaths is recorded in February as compared to January 2016 while 43 percent decline is seen in resultant injuries.
According to statistics issued by PICSS, a total number of 46 militant activities were recorded in the month of February, 2016. A slight drop is seen in militant activities as compared to month of January, 2016 when number of attacks by militants were 56. FATA in the month of February is again seen as boiling point with the increased number of attacks that is 16 which were 9 in the previous month. Baluchistan, however is showing signs of improvement in restoring stability with 13 violent incidents as compared to 25 incidents in the month of January, 2016. A marked reduction is observed in the violent incidents of KPK which have gone down to almost half. In KPK, only 5 militant activities were recorded as compared to previous month in which 13 such violent incidents were recorded by PICSS. In Punjab, 3 and in Sindh 7 acts of violence were seen. In the 46 violent incidents recorded in the February a total number of 51 people were killed which includes 33 security forces personnel, 2 razakars and 16 civilians. In these incidents 89 were injured which include 48 security forces personnel, 40 civilians and one militant. In January, 102 people were killed in militant activities so with the reduction in violent incidents, resultant deaths have gone down to almost half.
In FATA, 16 militant attacks were recorded which include 9 IED attacks, 4 physical assaults and 3 incidents of target killing. In Baluchistan, 3 IED attacks, 7 militant assaults, 2 grenade attacks and one suicide attack was recorded by PICSS. In KPK, which is showing signs of improvement in security situation 2 IED attacks, one militant assault and 2 incidents of target killing were recorded in the month of February, 2016. Punjab witnessed 3 incidents of militant assault in the month while Sindh witnessed 3 cracker attacks, one IED attack, 2 militant assault and one incident of target killing.
Notable incidents in February 2016 were attack on Home Minister Baluchistan Sarfraz Bugti who narrowly escaped an attack by militants ambushing his convoy on February 29 in Sui area of Dera Bugti. Another incident in KPK was bomb blast near house of KPK Excise and Revenue Minister Ali Amin Gandapur in DI Khan. One drone attack was reported in Kurram Agency in which a militant was injured. TTP commander Zewar alias Zewar Mulla, a closed associate of TTP was arrested in an Intelligence based operation near Fateh Jang. One suicide attack occurred in Quetta, Baluchistan in which 4 security forces personnel and 6 civilians were killed
In February, 2016 security forces continued their operations against militants. A total number of 139 security forces actions were carried out in which 142 militants were killed and 574 arrests were made. Last phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb was also announced in February, 2016 to clear Shawal and Datta Khel areas the last bastions of militants in North Waziristan.