Violence surged marginally across Pakistan during the current week in comparison to the past week. Bomb blasts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and insistent target killings in Karachi continued rocking Pakistan during the entire week. Casualties due to the ongoing infighting among ethno-political and sectarian factions in Karachi reached to whopping 195 during last seven weeks. The data collected (from ten newspapers that CRSS uses as the source) suggests that 136 persons were killed as a result of 54 incidents of violence across the country during the reported week (for details see data sheet).These violent incidents also left 167 people injured.
The persistent wave of violence and spree of target killings across the country once again pushed the civilian death toll to the top, wherein 68 percent civilians perished. Numerically speaking 93 civilians lost their lives and 149 others were wounded in violent incidents of various kinds during the week. Militants suffered the second highest number of fatalities, wherein 38 militants got killed and another nine were wounded, mostly during operational attacks by the security forces in different areas of KP and Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA). Furthermore, like the preceding week, only one CIA operated drone strike was reported during the current week killing three suspected militants in Miramshah Bazaar, North Waziristan Agency (FATA). The sabotage campaign, launched by the militants to dismantle state infrastructure continued unabated, as two power pylons of 132KV were blown up by the miscreants in Maund area of Kohlu district (Balochistan).
Unlike the past week where no sectarian attack was reported; three sectarian attacks were witnessed during the current week claiming seven lives, among them five Shia and two Sunni Muslims. Moreover, casualties due to the target killings surged by eight percent (25 percent against last week’s 17 percent) and the number of target killing incidents almost doubled (32 against last week’s 17) during the current week. The pie chart illustrates that some 59 percent of the total violent attacks were of target killings in nature. The trend also underlines that the target-killing, stubbornly remains the weapon of choice for violent actors to inflict violence and terror (see the pie chart below).
Furthermore, data illustrates that of the total 32 incidents of target killings, a staggering 81 percent took place in Karachi alone, killing 26 people (78 percent of the total killed in target killings) and maiming five others. Militant casualties due to the ongoing military operation in KP and FATA region surged by 18.5 percent, wherein 38 militants were killed this week against last week’s 31. On the whole militant death toll raised by just two percent (27 percent of the total dead were militants against last week’s 25 percent). Meanwhile, five security forces’ personnel also lost their lives as a result of clashes with the militants during the week.
At the same time, the phenomenon of recovery of dead bodies continues to grip Karachi. During the current week 17 dead bodies were recovered, and all of these were recovered from different areas of Karachi city. In sum, as the number of violent incidents raised sharply from last week’s 39 to 54 this week, the number of casualties also swelled, though marginally, from last week’s 123 to 136, while the number of wounded however, remained almost the same.
A peer into data, trends and terrain of violence suggests that the security situation is getting worse in Pakistan during 2012, as compared to the previous year. During the past three weeks almost 300 people have been killed across Pakistan in different episodes of violence. And surprisingly one third of the total killings were recorded in Karachi alone, pitting the city in parity with KP and FATA, the epicenter of violence in recent years. Moreover, the surge in violence in KP and FATA suggests that militants have closed their ranks and formed alliances with the once opposing factions to multiply their already dwindling strength and outreach.
- The News
- The Express Tribune
- Pakistan Today
- Daily Times
- The Frontier Post
- Jang (Urdu)
- Daily Mashriq (Urdu)
- Aaj (Urdu)
- The Nation