Pakistan records increased armed attacks in August, highest since 2014

increased armed attack in pakistan
Representative photo

In Pakistan, there was a sharp increase in armed attacks in the month of August, with 99 incidents reported across the country, the highest number in any month since November 2014. These attacks resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, most of which were Pakistan Army personnel. There was an 83% increase in attacks from July, when 54 attacks were reported.

According to data compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), there were also four suicide attacks in August, three of which occurred in the tribal districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and one in mainland KP. There were also five suicide attacks in July, the maximum in a year.

Overall, there were 22 suicide attacks in Pakistan in the first eight months of 2023, resulting in 227 deaths and 497 injuries. The data shows that Balochistan and the erstwhile FATA were the most affected areas by violence in August.

Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa province (excluding the tribal districts) also saw a significant increase in militant attacks, rising from 15 in July to 29 in August, an increase of 83%. There was also a 188% and 73% increase in deaths and injuries, respectively.

The province was primarily targeted by the TTP and splinter groups, which claimed responsibility for several attacks. There was a slight increase in attacks in Sindh, increasing from three in July to five in August. Deaths also rose from one to four.

Punjab province remained relatively peaceful and there were no reports of any attacks in August. The only attack in July was a low-intensity explosion near a police station in Lahore that injured one person.

The data also shows that security forces have remained the primary target of militant violence, accounting for 50% of all deaths and 63% of all injuries. There was a 51% increase in security force deaths in August 2023 compared to July.

In August, a total of 85 attacks were carried out by the Baloch armed freedom fighters, including a major attack on a Chinese citizen convoy in a sensitive area of Gwadar on August 13 by the BLA Majeed Brigade.

In the same month, an IED attack in Balghatar targeted a vehicle of Pak Army-backed trader’s vehicle, killing 7 people. Baloch freedom fighters targeted Pakistan Army personnel in various types of bombings and armed attacks in other cities, including the capital Quetta.

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