Militant, nationalist, insurgent and violent sectarian groups carried out a total of 1,717 terrorist attacks across Pakistan in 2013 killing 2,451 people and injuring over 5000 in a spike of yearlong violence, according to the Pakistan Security Report, 2013.
Brought out by the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), the report says that compared to 2012, the number of reported terrorist attacks in 2013 posted a nine per cent increase, while the number of people killed and injured increased by 19 per cent and 42 per cent respectively. As in 2012, 61 per cent of the total 1,717 terrorist attacks were carried out by the Pakistani Taliban, mainly the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and affiliated groups in which 1,418 people were killed and 3,408 injured. The Baloch and Sindhi nationalists carried out 450 attacks killing 375 people and injuring 835.
The TTP was lethal with 645 attacks in 50 districts, killing 732 civilians and 425 security forces personnel. The militant outfit also claimed responsibility or was reportedly involved in 34 suicide attacks out of 46.
The number of suicide attacks rose by 39 per cent with 46 suicide attacks in 2013 compared to 33 in 2012, 18 of them in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 12 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), nine in Balochistan and five in Sindh. Thirty-four suicide attacks were by the TTP and nine by the Lashkar-e-Janghvi.
As many as 498 of the total terrorist attacks were aimed at security personnel, convoys and check-posts and 358 attacks were apparently aimed at civilians. About 212 were sectarian, targeting places of worship, shrines and 198 attacks targeted political leaders, parties and rallies.
There were 78 attacks on educational institutions and 50 on NATO supply trucks and 25 on NGO, civil society members including polio vaccination teams. Journalists, minority communities, and diplomats were also targeted by terrorists.
The report says significant attack tactics used by terrorists in 2013 included improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in 710 attacks, grenades in 122 incidents, rocket attacks -108, sabotage -18, kidnapping-16, beheadings-five, mortar fire-4 and petrol bomb in two cases. In 208 sectarian attacks by banned groups and the TTP, 658 people lost their lives while over 1000 were injured.
The highest number of terrorist attacks- 499 for any one region was reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which also witnessed a rise in sectarian violence killing 706 people. Balochistan was the worst affected by terrorism with 727 deaths in 487 terrorist attacks. Karachi which had one of the worst years in terms of violence, reported 356 terrorist attacks in which 492 were killed while FATA with 293 attacks accounted for 425 deaths.
Overall the country reported 2555 incidents of violence including the terrorist attacks and a total of 4725 were killed with 6932 injured. Violence in the Punjab increased by 123 per cent in 2013, as compared to 2012 while Karachi witnessed a 90 per cent increase. There was a rise of 81 per cent in the number of people killed in 2013 in Karachi. The number of cross-border attacks and clashes increased in 2013 particularly along the Pakistan India border (including the Line of Control and the working Boundary) but the casualties in these attacks decreased, the report said. Most of the cross-border attacks and clashes (66 per cent) were reported from Pakistan’s border with India. About 26 clashes and nine attacks were reported from Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, India and Iran which was 30 per cent more than in 2012. As many as 59 Pakistani citizens including security forces personnel and civilians lost their lives in these incidents, which was 82 per cent less than the killings in 2012.
Militants attacked private and public schools in general and girls schools specially. The highest number of attacks — 51 of the total 78 — took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 17 of them in Bannu and nine in Peshawar. The report says the major actor of instability in 2013 was the TTP and despite the killing of some of its top leaders, the operational capabilities of the group remained intact. Six new groups emerged on the terrorism landscape last year, the report points out, adding that four of them were part of the Al-Qaeda-TTP alliance.