Press Trust of India
Islamabad, 6 January
Nearly 2,500 people were killed in over 1,700 terrorist attacks in Pakistan last year, with a majority of them dying at the hands of the banned Taliban which continued its killing spree despite setbacks.
According to the “Pakistan Security Report 2013” compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), militants, nationalist insurgents and sectarian groups carried out a total of 1,717 attacks across the country, claiming 2,451 lives and injuring another 5,438.
Compared to 2012, the number of terrorist attacks registered a nine per cent increase while the number of people killed and injured increased by 19 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively.
Despite the killing of its top leaders in drone strikes and operations by Pakistani security forces, the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) remained a major factor for instability through its alliance with various militant groups.
It carried out 645 attacks in 50 districts, killing 732 civilians and 425 security personnel, the report said.
Cross-border attacks and clashes increased in 2013, mostly along the Pakistan-India border but the casualties in these incidents decreased.
Also, 26 and nine attacks were reported from Pakistan’s borders with Afghanistan and Iran, respectively.
A rise in sectarian violence that started in 2011 continued till the end of 2013, with the number of people killed and injured in such incidents increasing significantly. The number of suicide attacks rose by 39 per cent, with 46 such attacks in 2013 compared to 33 the previous year.
Eighteen of the suicide attacks in 2013 or 39 per cent were recorded in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 12 in the tribal areas and nine in Balochistan. Of the total, 34 suicide attacks were carried out by the Taliban and its affiliated groups.
Nine suicide attacks were sectarian-related and carried out by the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. One suicide blast was carried out by nationalist insurgents. Another two attacks were carried out in inter-militant clashes. US drone strikes saw a 31 per cent decrease in 2013. Out of 31 reported attacks by CIA-operated spy planes, around 24 targeted militants and their hideouts in North Waziristan Agency.