VIOLENCE ON RISE AT THE START OF THE YEAR FOLLOWING HISTORICAL PATTERN

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Islamabad: February 3, 2020
Following the historical pattern of more violence at the start of the year, January 2020 exactly followed that pattern as number of militant attacks and resultant deaths increased in first month of the new calendar year as compared to last month of the previous calendar year. This was stated in monthly security assessment report issued by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) – an Islamabad based independent think tank. Perhaps New Year is the time of showing new commitment on the part of the militant groups or an attempt to seek financial resources or may be both.
According to PICSS report, 15 militant attacks were recorded in January this year in which 27 people were killed and sixty others were injured. In first month of the last year (2019), PICSS had witnessed 19 militant attacks in which 41 people were killed and 52 others were injured. Out of the 15 attacks in January 2020, five were reported from KPK (excluding FATA) where three people were killed and 12 others were injured. Erstwhile FATA region witnessed three militant attacks in which one security forces personnel was killed and three others were injured. Balochistan witnessed four militant attacks in which 19 people were killed and 37 others were injured. Two militant attacks were reported from Punjab in which three people were killed and eight others were injured. Sindh witnessed one militant attack in which one person was killed. In the previous month (December 2019), 11 militant attacks were reported in the country in which 12 people were killed and 26 others were injured. Thus, January witnessed increase in number of attacks as well as resulting deaths and injuries and the increase has been almost 36 percent increase in number of attacks that triggered 125 percent increase in number of deaths and 131 percent increase in number of those injured when compared with the month of December.
Among these 15 militant attacks, one third were incidents of targeted killings in which eight people were killed including four civilians, three security forces personnel and one militant while five others were injured including four civilians and one security forces personnel. The month witnessed one suicide attack in which 16 people including 14 civilians were killed and 19 others were injured. Four IED-based attacks during the month caused three deaths and injuries to 24 others while four grenade attacks caused injuries to 12 people. Mainly civilians were at the receiving end in majority of these attacks. One mortar attack was also reported that caused no human loss.
Increase in security forces action was also observed in January as 16 security forces actions were monitored in which 20 suspected militants were killed and 19 others were apprehended while two security forces personnel lost their lives and another was injured in these operations. December had witnessed nine security forces actions in which seven people including four militants were killed three others were injured while 13 suspects were apprehended.

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