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PIPS Reports
Pakistan Security Report (January 2012)



Published: February 14, 2012


An Overview
Intensified ambushes and attacks by Taliban militants on security forces and tribal lashkars, or locally raised armed groups to secure peace, in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, frequent attacks by nationalist insurgents on law enforcement agencies, political leaders and civilians in Balochistan, and a blend of ethno-political, sectarian-related and terrorist attacks in Karachi characterized the volatile security landscape of the country in the first month of 2012. 

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and tribal areas, militants stepped up and intensified their assaults against security forces and ant-Taliban peace committees in the wake of continuing military operation in Orakzai and Kurram agencies. The Taliban militants continued destroying the educational institutions and as many as 7 schools were attacked in KP and FATA in this month. Meanwhile inter-tribal clashes, cross-border attacks and resumption of US drone strikes were other features of the deteriorated security landscape in the tribal region.

As many as 134 reported terrorist attacks, including militant attacks, nationalist insurgent attacks and sectarian-related, killed 207 and injured another 369 people across Pakistan during the reporting month. Compared to the previous month, the number of terrorist attacks in January increased slightly, however the numbers of people killed and injured in these attacks increased considerably from 99 to 207 and 239 to 369, respectively. 

FATA was the most volatile area of the country where 45 recorded terrorist attacks killed 95 people and injured 177 others. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the second most hit-region that witnessed 42 such attacks which claimed lives of 27 people besides injuring 87 others. There was no let up in violence in Balochistan either, where 51 people were killed and 42 were wounded in 32 attacks of Baloch separatists against law enforcement agencies, political leaders and civilians. Eight incidents of sectarian violence and militants attacks occurred in Karachi that claimed the lives of 11 people and injured 9 others while 4 sectarian related target killings in Gilgit-Baltistan increased the sectarian tension in the area. With the exception of one sectarian attack on Chehlum procession in Punjab which killed 21 people and injured 50 others the overall security situation in Punjab was peaceful. Peace and clam also prevailed in Islamabad and Azad Kashmir. (See Chart 1).

Chart 1: Terrorist Attacks in Pakistan in January 2012

The overall number of casualties in Pakistan in the month of January–including those resulting from terrorist/insurgent attacks, operational attacks by the security forces and their clashes with the militants, ethno-political violence, inter-tribal clashes and cross border attacks as well as drone strikes–reached 546 killed and 543 injured in 191 incidents of aforesaid violence. The maximum number of casualties was recorded in security forces’ 10 operational attacks and 22 clashes with militants in different FATA agencies and parts of KP. As many as 11 incidents of political and ethnic violence were reported from Karachi that caused death to 13 and injuries to 4 people. Meanwhile, three incidents of border clashes at Pak-Iran border left nine civilians dead and 3 others injured. In 7 reported incidents of inter-tribal and sectarian clashes, 21 people were killed and 18 others injured whereas four drone strikes killed 15 people and injured two others. (See Table 2)

Table 2: Nature of Attacks
Type of attack/clash

Number of attacks/clashes

Killed

Injured

Terrorist/insurgent attacks

134

207

369

Clashes b/w security forces and militants

22

178

111

Operational attacks by security forces

10

103

36

Drone attacks

4

15

2

Border clashes

3

9

3

Political and ethnic violence

11

13

4

Inter-tribal and sectarian clashes

7

21

18

Total

191

546

543

A comparison of this month’s security situation–using the variables of the number of overall attacks/clashes given in Table 2 and the resulting killings and injuries–with the last four months’ security landscape reveals a mix trend (See Chart 3).  The overall number of attacks/clashes in January decreased by about 8 percent compared to the previous month whereas the number of people killed and injured in these attacks/clashes increased by 9 percent and 23 percent, respectively. Moreover four US drone attacks killed 15 people and injured 2 others in this month while no such attack was recorded in the previous month.

Chart 3: Comparison with Four Months’ Figure

Like in the previous month, the militants suffered maximum number of casualties; 312 militants were killed and 153 others injured in ongoing military operations and their clashes with security forces as well as US-led predator drone strikes. The second highest number of casualties was of the civilians with 133 life losses and 269 injuries. Meanwhile 101 personnel of the security forces also lost their lives and 121 others sustained injuries, mainly in terrorist attacks and clashes with the militants. (See Table 4, 4a)

Chart 4: Detail of Casualties January 2012


Table 4a: Distribution of Casualties January 2012
Type

Killed

Injured

FC

67

79

Militants

312

153

Civilian

133

269

Police

11

23

Army

17

12

Paramilitary

4

3

Lvs

2

4

Total

546

543

Militants employed diversity of tactics in their attacks, among them the most commonly used tactic was of firing or shooting with 33 reported incidents. While improvised explosive device (IEDs) were the second most commonly used method with 28 reported incidents.  Rocket attacks with 16 incidents, landmine with 15 attacks and target killing with 14 incidents were among the other foremost tactics used by the militants in this month. (See Table 5) 

Table 5: Attack Tactics Used by Terrorists
Attack  Tactic

No. of Attacks

Suicide attack

2

Rocket attack

16

Beheading

1

Remote control blast

11

Kidnapping

6

Landmine blast

15

Firing

33

Sabotage, fire, burn

1

Target killing

14

Bomb blast

1

Hand grenade

6

Improvised explosive device (IED)

28

Total

134

 

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