ISLAMABAD: Since July 2019, January 2023 has been the deadliest month in Pakistan as 134 people lost their lives, a 139 per cent spike, and 254 others wee injured in at least 44 terror attacks across the country, according to statistics.
The figures released by the Islamabad-based think-tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) revealed the pattern of terrorist attacks continued in the new year, with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa remaining one of the worst hit regions, reports Dawn news.
Although the number of terror incidents slightly declined in January, the fatalities increased by 139 per cent, mainly due to the January suicide blast at a mosque in Peshawar which resulted in the death of 101 people. In January, two suicide bombings were recorded — one in Peshawar and the other one in the Khyber tribal district.
At the same time, the security forces foiled a number of attacks by arresting at least 52 suspected militants, mainly from Punjab, and killing 40 suspects, mostly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa not only the militant attacks increased from 17 to 27, but the resultant deaths also increased from 17 to 116 compared to December 2022, Dawn news quoted the think-tank as saying.
At least 232 people were also injured in the province, most of them police officials wounded in the Peshawar blast. However, militant attacks declined in Balochistan during January, where only nine militant attacks were reported compared to 17 attacks in December 2022. The resultant deaths also dropped from 14 to 7 and the number of wounded declined from 48 to 20. Bolan, Panjgur, Kalat, Khuzdar, Mastung, and Quetta were the affected districts during the month.
Meanwhile, in Punjab, four militant attacks were reported in which three security forces personnel were killed while two low-profile attacks were reported in Sindh in which one person died, Dawn news reported.
The most high-profile attack was carried out in Mianwali’s Makarwal police station by “around two dozen TTP militants” on January 31. The attack was repulsed, but it showed the numerical strength and ability of banned outfits to mobilise armed militants across the KP and Punjab border. One attack each was reported in Rawalpindi, DG Khan, and Khanewal, the report claimed.