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Monday July 15, 2024

KP, Balochistan top in violence-related casualties in second quarter

By Rasheed Khalid
July 02, 2024
A person firing a bullet from a gun. — Unsplash File
A person firing a bullet from a gun. — Unsplash File

Islamabad: During the second quarter of 2024 (Q2, 2024), Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the south-western Balochistan, both bordering Afgha­nistan, suffered 67% and 25% of all fatalities respectively in the country.

According to ‘Overview of Pakistan’s security landscape in Q2, 2024’ issued here by Centre for Security and Strategic Studies, Pakistan witnessed 380 violence-linked fatalities and 220 injuries among civilians, security personnel and outlaws, resulting from 240 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations. This includes 236 fatalities among civilians and security forces personnel.

The north-western Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the south-western Balochistan provinces were the epicentres of violence, accounting for nearly 92% of all fatalities and 87% of attacks (including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations) during this period.

The data indicates that the remaining regions were relatively peaceful, suffering only 8% of all fatalities. Violence and casualty rates across the country plummeted in Q2, 2024. The country experienced a 12% reduction in overall violence, with 380 fatalities recorded compared to 432 in Q1, 2024.

A similarly encouraging trend can be observed in terms of casualties recorded throughout the country which dropped significantly, from 802 in Q1 to 600 in Q2, 2024, marking a substantial 25% decline. The most notable improvement was seen in Balochistan, where violence decreased by 46%, with fatalities falling from 178 in Q1 to 96 in Q2 2024.

Violence in Sindh also saw a notable decline of 32%. Similar downward trends were reported in GB and ICT. However, Punjab and KP experienced a surge in violence, with an increase of 13 and 31 fatalities respectively, compared to the previous quarter.

Outlaws accounted for the majority of fatalities (38%), followed by civilians (32%) and security and government officials (30%). Compared to Q1, civilian and security forces' fatalities decreased by 21% and 10%, respectively, while militant fatalities increased by 29%. Notably, only 2 insurgents were killed in Q2, a sharp decline from 41 in Q1. Despite these positive trends, some concerning patterns were also observed. Civilians, government officials and security personnel suffered 62% of all fatalities, significantly higher than the 38% fatal losses among outlaws. Civilians suffered the highest number of militant and insurgent attacks.

Terrorist attacks on civilians, government officials and security personnel outnumbered counter-terror operations against outlaws by more than four times (195 vs. 45). Among the civilian fatalities, there were 24 workers who were targeted in Balochistan and KP due to their ethnic identities in addition to 4 coal miners and two polio workers.

Eleven persons lost their lives at the hands of sectarian violence including 5 Sunnis, 2 Ahmadis, 1 Christian, and three persons were reported to have been killed due to sectarian violence but their religious identities were not declared. Police and army personnel became frequent targets of terrorist attacks. There were two DSP’s among the police officials who lost their lives while 31 cops were also victims of violence. Nearly 65 soldiers and including an Army Captain lost their lives while a former Brigadier, Ameer Hamza, also got fatally ambushed by unidentified target killers.