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Pakistan’s First Quarter 2024: KP and Balochistan Face Surge in Violence, New Militant Group Emerges

ISLAMABAD: During the initial quarter of 2024, Pakistan grappled with a total of 432 fatalities and 370 injuries stemming from 245 instances of terrorism and counter-terror operations, as disclosed in a security report issued by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). Among these casualties, there were 281 fatalities involving civilians and security personnel.

Notably, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan provinces, bordering Afghanistan, bore the brunt of the violence, accounting for over 92% of fatalities and 86% of attacks during this period. KP suffered 51% of the fatalities, while Balochistan endured 41%.

Surprisingly, militant organizations claimed responsibility for less than 20% of total casualties attributed to terrorism, with a newly emerged group named Jabhat Ansar al-Mahdi Khorasan (JAMK) affiliated with the Gul Bahadur group.

In addition to terrorism-related casualties, there were 64 incidents of sabotage targeting government, political, private, and security properties. Balochistan witnessed a significant 96% surge in violence, with fatalities doubling from the previous quarter. Conversely, regions like KP, Punjab, and Gilgit-Baltistan recorded decreases in violence.

Despite a decrease in violence in GB, the home minister issued a terror threat alert in response to a suicide attack on Chinese engineers in KP. Civilians and security forces suffered over 65% of all fatalities, with civilians bearing the heaviest brunt, accounting for 36% of total fatalities.

Balochistan and KP Dominate Violence Landscape in Pakistan's Q1 2024: CRSS  - Islamabad Post

Compared with the previous quarter, fatalities of civilians and security officials combined surged by 17%, while those of outlaws, militants, and insurgents decreased by nearly 15%. Notably, there was a significant increase in insurgent fatalities and a decrease in militant fatalities.

Terrorist outfits like the banned TTP and ISIS claimed responsibility for some attacks, while certain groups like TJP, LI, and LeJ remained inactive. Sectarian violence also persisted, affecting various religious communities, including Muslims and non-Muslims, with Ahmadis suffering the highest casualties.

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