ISLAMABAD - At least 168 people were killed and 401 others injured in 42 bomb blasts across Pakistan during the first month of the year 2014 as the militants accelerated the number of deadly suicide attacks across the country, according to official statistics.
Out of total 42 bomb attacks, seven assaults were of suicide nature that killed 83 people and injured 150 others in different areas of the country.
According to the statistics, the number of casualties during January were almost five times higher than the casualties occurred in December 2013.
On month-on-month basis, comparison showed that the number of killings in bomb blasts during January 2014 decreased by almost 18 per cent when compared to the casualties in January 2013.
During the month of January no high official came under bomb attack, but militants increased their attacks on security forces that gave tough time to the former with 41 casualties.
The worst attack of the period came on Jan 21 when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a bus carrying pilgrims in southwestern district of Mastung, killing 29 people and leaving over 30 others injured.
In another incident on Jan 19, atleast 26 personnel of Pakistan security forces were killed and over 20 others sustained injuries when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vehicle amid the convoy of security forces in Cantonment area of northwestern Bannu district.
On Jan. 20, at least 13 people including eight security personnel were killed and over 20 others wounded when a teenager suicide bomber riding a bicycle blew himself up near an army check post in the middle of Royal Artillery Bazaar, located around 500 meters away from the General Headquarters of Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi.
The three attacks were claimed by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) besides reiterating that they would continue to attack security forces across the country. On Jan. 16, a time bomb targeted a mosque when hundreds of people were busy in offering their evening prayers in the northwestern provincial capital of Peshawar, killing 16 people and injuring 60 others.
Regarding the number of casualties, Pakistan's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was the worst hit with 15 attacks that killed 72 people and injured 131 others. The country's southwestern province of Balochistan was second most hit region where 40 people lost their lives and 111 others sustained injuries in eight bomb attacks.
Pakistan's northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan was the third most affected with seven explosions in which 27 people were killed and 26 others sustained injuries.
The most populated eastern province of Punjab that had been peaceful for months was struck twice with a train bomb blast and a suicide attack at security forces,killing 18 people and left 98 others injured. Militants carried 10 bomb blasts in southern port city of Karachi in Sindh province, which killed 11 people besides injuring 35 others.
Official statistics revealed that the terrorists carried out 42 bomb attacks, including seven of suicide nature, at 40 targets during the period, killing 115 civilians as well as 41 personnel from security forces and 12 policemen.
Overall, the militants conducted three direct attacks on security forces and four at police during the month.
Most of the attacks were conducted with Improvised Explosive Device (IED) by planting it on the roadsides or in vehicles that were detonated with remote controlled devices.