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ISLAMABAD: Terror incidents have increased across the country after the latest series of attacks with eight major attacks since the new year at a cost of 31 civilians and security personnel fatalities.

According to data compiled by Business Recorder from official and independent sources as well as media reports, there has been an increase in the terrorist attacks since the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended its temporary ceasefire agreement on December 9, 2021. The country has witnessed over a dozen terror attacks since with around 40 killed so far.

In the latest attack at least 10 people were killed, including Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Senator Sarfaraz Bugti’s cousin along with four law enforcement agencies personnel, in a landmine explosion in Dera Bugti, Balochistan, on January 28.

The attack came two days after terrorists launched an attack on a security forces’ check post in Balochistan’s Kech district, in which 10 soldiers were martyred. According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the “fire raid” by terrorists occurred on the night of January 25-26.

On January 20, a blast in Lahore’s New Anarkali Bazaar area left at least three people dead and 28 injured. A newly formed Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA), had claimed responsibility for the powerful blast in Lahore.

On January 17, two terrorists and a policeman were killed in a firing incident in Sector G-8 Islamabad. According to police, unidentified assailants opened fire at police officials deployed on a check post in Sector G-8, leaving one policeman dead and two injured. Two terrorists were also killed in police retaliatory fire. The attack was later claimed by the banned TTP.

On January 9, six terrorists of Islamic State (IS) including Asghar Samalani were killed during exchange of fire at Eastern Bypass area of Quetta, Balochistan.

On January 8, three people were killed and three injured when unidentified assailants opened fire at their convoy at the Loni Road area in Sibi city of Sibi District. The convoy included NawabzadaBaru Khan Barozai, brother of Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai, the ex-interim Chief Minister of Balochistan who sustained injuries. Two soldiers who lost their lives in the attack were identified as Sepoy Naseeb Ullah and Sepoy Insha Allah.

There was a slight decline in the terror attacks during the period from November 9 till December 9, 2021 following the announcement by the outlawed TTP of a month-long ceasefire as a result of the peace talks with government of Pakistan, facilitated by the Afghan Taliban.

During November 2021, a total of three terror attacks were reported in which six civilians and two security personnel lost their lives while four terrorists were also killed - one attack was carried out by the banned TTP in Thall tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on November 2, before the militant outfit announced a ceasefire on November 9. At least four militants associated with the TTP were killed in the attack.

After November 9 ceasefire, three terror attacks were reported, two in Balochistan – on Nov 12 in Quetta and Nov 21 in Harnai, Balochistan with six fatalities – with no militant outfit claiming responsibility for either of the two attacks.

On November 27, 2021 terrorists carried out an attack in Datta Khel area of North Waziristan, and according to ISPR, the terrorists targeted a military post in the border area. During the intense exchange of fire, two soldiers embraced martyrdom, the ISPR further stated.

On December 25, 2021 unknown militants attacked a military check post in North Waziristan near Pakistan-Afghan border, killing one security personnel, while on December 24, another attack took place in Balochistan in Kech districts, in which two soldiers were martyred.

Official sources have warned of the possibility of more terrorist incidents, following the proscribed TTP ending the ceasefire and announcing the resumption of terror attacks coupled with regrouping of Baloch separatist militant outfits under the banner of Baloch Nationalist Army (BNA) which was recently formed.

In as recent interview with the British media, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad warned that terror incidents could rise in the country during the next two months.

However, he vowed to overcome the fresh wave of terrorism, saying that the country’s capability of fighting terrorism has improved significantly with the best intelligence system.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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