ISLAMABAD - Pakistan witnessed a sharp rise in militant attacks in August, with 99 incidents reported across the country, the highest number in any single month since November 2014.
The attacks resulted in 112 deaths and 87 injuries, mostly among security forces personnel and civilians. There is an 83 percent rise in militant attacks in August compared with July as 54 attacks were reported in that month.
According to the data compiled by Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), the month of August also saw four suicide attacks, three in tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and one in mainland KP.
The month of July had witnessed five suicide attacks, the highest in a year. Overall, the country has witnessed 22 suicide attacks in the first eight months of 2023, in which 227 people have been killed and 497 injured.
The PICSS data also shows that security forces responded effectively to the militant threat, averting many attacks killing at least 24 militants, and arresting 69 others in various operations across the country.
The statistics reveal that Balochistan and erstwhile FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) were the most affected regions by militant violence in August, compared to the previous month. Balochistan witnessed a 65 percent increase in militant attacks, from 17 in July to 28 in August, while erstwhile FATA witnessed a 106 percent increase, from 18 in July to 37 in August. However, both the regions also saw a decrease in fatalities, by 19 percent and 29 percent respectively.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (excluding tribal districts) also saw a significant increase in militant attacks, from 15 in July to 29 in August, an 83 percent rise. The deaths and injuries also increased by 188 percent and 73 percent respectively. The province was mainly targeted by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its splinter groups, who claimed responsibility for several attacks.
Sindh witnessed a slight increase in militant attacks, from three in July to five in August. The deaths also increased from one to four.
Punjab remained relatively peaceful, with no militant attack reported in August. The only attack reported in July was a low-intensity blast near a police station in Lahore, which caused one injury.
The figures also disclose that security forces remained the primary target of militant violence, accounting for 50 percent of the total deaths and 63 percent of the total injured. There was a 51 percent rise in fatalities of the security forces in August compared with July 2023.