(From the "Daily Times" of Lahore, dated January 21,2009)
Violence claims 7,997 lives in 2008
Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies report says highest number of terrorist attacks in NWFP, followed by Balochistan and Tribal AreasDaily Times Monitor
ISLAMABAD: At least 7,997 people were killed and 9,670 injured in 2,148 incidents of violence in Pakistan during 2008, according to a Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS) annual report made available to Daily Times on Tuesday.The incidents include terrorist attacks, clashes between security forces and militants, military operations, political violence, inter-tribe sectarian clashes and border clashes.
The highest number of terrorist attacks was reported from NWFP (1,009), followed by Balochistan (682) and the Tribal Areas (385), the report said. It said 35 attacks took place in Punjab, 25 in Sindh, seven in Islamabad, four in Azad Kashmir and one in the Northern Areas.
More than 3,182 people were killed and 2,267 injured in operational attacks, 655 killed and 557 injured in clashes between security forces and militants, 162 killed and 419 injured in political violence, 1,336 killed and 1,662 injured in inter-tribe sectarian clashes, and 395 killed and 207 injured in border clashes.
More than 95 clashes between security forces and militants, 88 incidents of political violence, 191 incidents of inter-tribe sectarian clashes and 55 incidents of border clashes took place during the last year. At least 2,267 people were killed and 4,558 injured in at least 2,148 terrorists attacks reported in 2008.
At least 967 people were killed and 2,108 others injured in 63 suicide attacks in the country during the last year. The NWFP faced 32 suicide attacks in which 389 people were killed and 688 injured, Punjab was second with 10 suicide attacks that claimed more than 201 lives and injured 508. Sixteen suicide attacks were reported in FATA due to which 263 people died and 497 were injured.More than 112 people were killed and 321 injured in four suicide attacks in Islamabad while one suicide attack was reported in Balochistan in which two people were killed and 22 others injured.
The report said 381 rocket attacks, 46 incidents of beheading, 112 remote controlled bomb attacks, 110 landmine explosions, 451 incidents of shooting and 373 blasts by improvised explosives were recorded during 2008.
At least 4,113 suspected terrorists including 30 from Al Qaeda, 3,759 affiliated with Taliban and other such groups, and 354 Baloch insurgents were arrested during the year. According to te PIPS report, at least 907 people were killed and 1,543 injured in 675 incidents of violence during 2006, and 3,448 people were killed and 5,353 injured in 1,535 incidents during 2007.
“A comparison of the security situation in 2008 with 2005 indicates a 746% increase in terrorist attacks,” the report said.“Terrorist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda and Taliban are using sophisticated techniques employed by insurgents in Iraq,” it said. “Such a progression could be traced in three major terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2008” – the attack on the Danish embassy and the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and the FIA headquarters in Lahore.