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Terrorist violence in election month claimed 230 lives in Pakistan

About 60% attacks in July 2018 targeted political leaders and workers: Claims PIPS monthly report

Islamabad (PR) – Indicating a phenomenal surge from previous month, as many as 230 people lost their lives and 417 others were injured in 22 reported terrorist attacks in Pakistan in July 2018, the election month. As many as 13 out of the total 22 reported terrorist attacks hit political leaders and election-related targets. Pak Institute for Peace Studies’ (PIPS) monthly security review of Pakistan revealed these statistics.

According to the report, these terrorist attacks also included 4 suicide blasts including the one that alone killed over 150 people in Mastung including Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate for a Provincial Assembly seat. Two other suicide blasts targeted political leaders in Peshawar and DI Khan killing Awami National Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf election candidates Haroon Bilour and Ikramullah Gandapur, respectively, among others. Yet another suicide attack targeted security forces in Quetta.

Among those 230 killed in terrorist attacks in July were 211 civilians, 15 personnel of security and law enforcement agencies, and 4 militants; those injured included 398 civilians, and 19 security personnel.

The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were mainly involved in this terrorist onslaught in July.

As many as 12 terrorist attacks took place in 6 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in July 2018. Indicating a significant rise from previous month’s 6 fatalities, these attacks killed 40 people and injured 111 others.

As many as 190 people lost their lives and 302 others were injured in 8 terrorist attacks reported from Balochistan in July 2018. Most of these casualties (183 dead; 255 injured) were caused by two lethal suicide bombings by ISIS, which targeted a political gathering and security forces, respectively, in Mastung and Quetta.

The Sindhu Desh Liberation Army (SDLA), a Sindhi nationalist insurgent group, perpetrated at least 2 attacks in interior Sindh, which injured in all 4 people. Political leaders and workers were apparently hit in these attacks.

No terrorist attack however took place in Punjab and other regions including Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK as well as the federal capital Islamabad.

Apart from 13 terrorist attacks against political leaders/workers and election-related targets – which claimed 182 lives – as many as 15 incidents of political violence or armed clashes between supporters and workers of different political parties were also recorded in July 2018. These incidents claimed 2 lives and injured 38 others.

Nonetheless, for third month in a row, the number of cross-border attacks plunged in July 2018. Compared to 9 in June, a total of two such attacks happened in July, one each from Afghanistan and India.  Two people were killed and another 3 injured in these attacks.

Security agencies conducted 2 anti-militant operations in July 2018, both in Balochistan. These actions killed 5 militants. A single armed clash or encounter between security forces and militants was recorded during the month under review, which killed one militant in Bannu

On the whole, 42 incidents of violence of different types took place in Pakistan in July 2018 that claimed the lives of 240 people and injured 458 others.