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Untitled Document
PIPS Reports
Pakistan Security Report (February 2012)



Published: March 16, 2012


An Overview
Intensified sectarian-related terrorist attacks, repeated attacks by militants and nationalist insurgents on security forces, civilians and state installations, and a new trend of attacks on railway tracks by Sindhi nationalists, mainly in interior Sindh, were among the prominent features of insecurity and violence in Pakistan during the month of February 2012.

In the reporting month, about 35 percent of the fatalities in terrorist attacks across Pakistan were caused by sectarian-related attacks including a deadly suicide attack in Kurram Agency in FATA. Security forces were prime target of the Taliban militants in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the nationalist insurgents in Balochistan. Interior Sindh and Karachi faced a blend of violent attacks perpetrated by Sindhi nationalists, sectarian groups and the militants; the incidents of ethno-political violence in Karachi however declined substantively.

Meanwhile security forces continued their operational attacks against the militants in Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai agencies in FATA and Kohat in KP. Four US-led drone strikes were also reported during the month, all in North Waziristan Agency.

As many as 113 reported terrorist attacks in Pakistan–15 percent less than those in previous month–including militant attacks, nationalist insurgent attacks and sectarian-related, killed 217 people during the month presenting about 5 percent increase in fatalities compared to previous month. Another 266 people were also injured in these attacks–28 percent more than those injured in terrorist attacks in previous month. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa faced the highest number of terrorist attacks than any other region of the country during the month of February. As many as 37 terrorist attacks including two suicide attacks and the same number of sectarian-related attacks killed 63 people and injured another 113 in different parts of the province. As far as casualties in terrorist attacks are concerned FATA was the most affected area of the country where 24 recorded terrorist attacks, about half of such attacks in previous month, killed 95 people and injured 75 others. Balochistan was the third among the areas worst-hit by militancy and violence with 32 reported terrorist attacks that killed at least 42 people and injured 65 others.

In Sindh, 18 terrorist attacks were reported during the month, including 10 in Karachi, that left 16 people dead and 10 others injured; all of the casualties were concentrated in Karachi with exception of one person injured in interior Sindh. Few incidents of sectarian violence were reported from Gilgit Baltistan. No terrorist attack however was reported from Punjab, Islamabad and Azad Jammu and Kashmir during the month (See Chart 1).

Chart 1: Terrorist Attacks in Pakistan in February 2012

A distribution of terrorist attacks described in Chart 1 based on the nature of the groups responsible or suspected to be behind these attacks is given in the following Chart.

Chart 1a: Distribution of Terrorist Attacks and Consequent Casualties

Taken as a whole, the number of incidents of violence in Pakistan including above mentioned 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 151 attacks/clashes during the month of February. As many as 520 people were killed and 426 others injured in these incidents of violence of different type. The maximum number of casualties was recorded in security forces’ 13 operational attacks and 10 clashes with militants in different FATA agencies and parts of KP followed by casualties in terrorist attacks (See Table 2). As many as 5 incidents of political and ethnic violence were reported from Karachi that caused death to 5 and injuries to 2 people. Meanwhile, 2 incidents of border clashes, one each at Pak-India and Pak-Afghan borders, left 3 people dead. In 4 reported incidents of inter-tribal clashes, 15 people were killed and 26 others injured whereas four drone strikes killed 33 people and injured 5 others.

Table 2: Overall Attacks/Clashes and Casualties in Pakistan in February ‘12

Type of attack/clash

Number of attacks/clashes

Killed

Injured

Terrorist/insurgent attacks

113

217

266

Clashes b/w security forces and militants

10

75

39

Operational attacks by security forces

13

172

88

Drone attacks

4

33

5

Border clashes

2

3

-

Political and ethnic violence

5

5

2

Inter-tribal clashes

4

15

26

Total

151

520

426

A comparison of this month’s security situation–using the variables of the number of overall attacks/clashes given in Table 2 and the consequent killings and injuries–with the last four months’ security landscape reveals a consistent trend of insecurity and violence with slight variations (See Chart 3).  Although the overall number of attacks/clashes in February decreased by about 21 percent compared to the previous month but it did not result in a substantive decrease in fatalities; the number of people killed in these attacks/clashes decreased by only 5 percent.

Chart 3: Comparison with Last Four Months’ Figure

The suspected militants and civilians suffered maximum number of casualties during the month in overall incidents of violence described in Table 2. As many as 265 militants were killed and 120 others injured in military operations and their clashes with security forces as well as US-led predator drone strikes. Furthermore 180 civilians lost their lives and 208 others were injured in these attacks, mainly in terrorist attacks. As many as 75 personnel of the security forces also lost their lives and 98 others sustained injuries, mainly in terrorist attacks and clashes with the militants. (See Table 4, 4a)

Chart 4: Detail of Casualties


Table 4a: Distribution of Security Forces’ Casualties
Type

Killed

Injured

FC

37

35

Police

21

33

Army

14

29

Paramilitary

3

1

Total

75

98

Militants employed multiple attack tactics in carrying out terrorist attacks. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and direct firing, or shootout, were the most commonly used tactics with 33 and 32 reported incidents, respectively. Remote control bombs with 10 incidents, bomb blasts with 9 incidents, hand grenades with 8 attacks and rocket attacks with 6 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  Tactics

No. of Attacks

Suicide attack

3

Rocket attack

6

Beheading

1

Remote control bomb

10

Kidnapping

4

Landmine

5

Firing

32

Sabotage

2

Bomb blast

9

Hand grenade

8

Improvised explosive device

33

Total

113

 

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