QUETTA: The number of terrorist attacks in Balochistan reduced by 33% this year compared to the statistics in 2018, according to details released by the home department.
This year, 145 people including 75 security personnel embraced martyrdom and 528 others were injured in 190 terrorist attacks including bombings, target killings and landmine blasts in the province. The martyrs included 43 Frontier Corps personnel, 21 policemen and 11 Levies personnel.
In 2018, 313 people lost their lives and 609 were injured in 284 terrorist attacks in Balochistan.
In 2019, nine people were martyred in an attack on the office of the DIG in Loralai on January 29, 14 people were taken off a bus in Ormara on April 18 and gunned down. On April 21, a suicide attack in Quetta left 21 dead and five people lost their lives in an attack on a hotel in Gwadar. On September 28, three people, including a political leader, were martyred in a bomb blast in Chaman. On November 15, a blast martyred three FC personnel at Khulchak bypass.
In addition, 37 people embraced martyrdom in landmine blasts and rocket attacks and 94 others were assassinated. In 2019, the number of casualties doubled in sectarian attacks. In nine attacks that were sectarian in nature, 33 people lost their lives and 115 were injured.
However, the death toll in sectarian violence in Balochistan has dropped by 87% compared to 2013, according to the statistics. In 2013, 258 people lost their lives in communal violence, 231 of them belonging to the Hazara community.
Balochistan has been facing ethnic- and sectarian-based terrorism for over two decades. Militancy increased dramatically in the province after Baloch tribal leader Nawab Akbar Bugti was killed in an operation in 2006.
"Terrorists are spreading unrest in Balochistan using Afghanistan's soil, but with the help of security forces and the locals, peace is being restored in Balochistan," said Home Minister Ziaullah Langove.
This year, terrorist incidents dropped by one-third as compared to 2018, while casualties dropped by 53%.
The deadliest year in terms of terrorism was 2013, when 531 people lost their lives and 1,162 were injured in ethnic, sectarian and religion-based violence including bombings, landmines, rocket attacks and targeted killings. Compared to 2013, the casualties resulting from terrorist attacks in 2019 have decreased by 72%.
Langove said the main reason for the reduction in terrorist incidents and casualties is the establishment of coordinated links between the civilian forces and other security agencies, which were working under a joint strategy to counter terrorism.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2019.
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