Terror Watch: Study finds sudden rise in suicide attacks in Sept 2016 - Pakistan Today

Terror Watch: Study finds sudden rise in suicide attacks in Sept 2016

  • The month saw four suicide attacks, the highest since the launch of Zarb-e-Azb
  • Two were reported from KP, one each was reported from Sindh, FATA

A sudden rise in suicide attacks was observed across the country during the month of September, putting the tally of terrorist attacks at 42 which left 85 people martyred and 144 wounded.

According to a report prepared by Islamabad-based independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), these terrorist acts included four suicide bombings, 15 IED blasts and 12 targeted killings.

According to the militancy database, this was for the first time since the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in June 2014 that a single month witnessed four suicide attacks.

At least 50 people died while 95 others were wounded in suicide attacks during the month. Two of the four suicide attacks were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), while one each was reported from Sindh and FATA.

A recent report in the western media had suggested that US forces were pushing militants belonging to Jamaatul Ahrar, a faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), by increasing aerial attacks in Afghanistan’s bordering areas forcing terrorists into Balochistan through bordering areas in the rugged terrain.

The objective of the move, according to the report, was to push these terrorists in order to sabotage the multi-billion-dollar project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The recent spike in terrorist acts in Balochistan points to the presence of hardened terrorists who might have sneaked into Balochistan, posing a serious threat to the CPEC.

The month of September also saw 42 militant attacks compared to 31 in the previous month. An upward trend has been observed in high profile attacks recently, reflecting the possibility of involvement of RAW-funded terrorist activities in the restive Balochistan province.

Nevertheless, despite a slight surge in militant attacks, the average militant attacks per month is still on downside since Zarb-e-Azb, as before the operation, average militant attacks was 161 which is now just 45, the lowest since 2008.

The statics show that the highest number of militant attacks during September was recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where 30 people were killed and 82 injured in 14 violent militant attacks followed by Balochistan where 12 such activities were reported killing 13 people and wounding 10 others.

In FATA, 37 people were killed and 47 injured in 11 militant attacks while Sindh saw only five militant attacks in which five people were killed and the same number of people injured. No militant attack was reported from Punjab, the federal capital, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The last militant activity in the federal capital and that too of a minor nature was reported in February this year.

The PICSS recorded 75 security forces actions against militants in which 78 suspected militants were killed and 285 were arrested. Although the highest number of security forces actions were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkwha but major focus of the forces remained on Punjab where 53 suspected militants were killed during the month which is more than two-thirds of the total militants killed during the month. The highest number of arrests was also made from Punjab where 189 suspects were taken into custody.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, nine suspected militants were killed and 35 arrested in 26 security forces actions. In Balochistan, seven suspected militants were killed and 33 arrested in 21 actions. Three suspects were also arrested from Azad Kashmir and five from Islamabad while nine alleged militants were arrested in Sindh.

Mian Abrar

The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He can be reached at [email protected]

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