Islamabad, A complete takeover of Afghanistan (except Panjshir valley) by the Afghan Taliban could not deter Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Baloch militants from mounting more attacks inside Pakistan. The rise of the Afghan Taliban to power in Afghanistan coincided with almost doubling of militant attacks in Pakistan. According to statistics released by an Islamabad-based independent think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, the month of August 2021 saw the highest number of militant attacks in a single month during the last five years. It was for the first time since May 2016 that more than 44 militant attacks were recorded in a single month. For the first time since March 2017, more than 40 militant attacks in the country were recorded in a single month. Another important aspect is that unlike in the past when a steady increase or decrease used to happen, it was a sudden surge in the militant attacks from 25 in July to 45 in August 2021.
According to the statistics released by Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), 45 militant attacks were recorded in August 2021 in which 64 people were killed including 34 civilians and 22 security forces personnel while 136 others were injured including 96 civilians and 36 security forces personnel. While in July 2021, 25 militant attacks were recorded, in which 33 people were killed and 54 others were injured.
According to the PICSS statistics, the highest number of militant attacks were reported in tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (from the former FATA region) where 20 militant attacks were carried out in the month which resulted in 23 deaths including nine civilians and ten security forces personnel and 17 others were injured including nine security forces personnel and four civilians. Balochistan witnessed 14 militant attacks in which 19 people were killed, including eight security forces personnel and seven civilians, while 45 others were injured, including 23 civilians and 22 security forces personnel.
Seven militant attacks were carried out in KPK province (other than tribal districts) where seven people were killed, including four security forces personnel and three civilians, while five other security forces personnel were injured. Punjab and Sindh witnessed two militant attacks each. Two civilians were killed in Punjab and 59 civilians were injured while militant attacks in Sindh resulted in 13 civilians killed and ten other civilians were injured. While Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit-Baltistan witnessed no violent militant activity.
As per the PICSS statistics, out of these 45 militant attacks, 13 were IED-based attacks in which 12 people were killed, including nine security forces personnel and two civilians, and 43 others were injured, including 32 security forces personnel and 11 civilians. PICSS recorded 13 targets-killing incidents in which 18 people were killed, including 13 civilians and five security forces personnel while three others were injured, including two civilians and one security forces personnel.
Eight mortar attacks were recorded in which 15 people were killed including eight security forces personnel and one civilian. Seven grenade attacks were reported in which 15 civilians were killed and 77 were injured. Two incidents of kidnapping were recorded during the month in which one person was killed. Similarly, one suicide attack was also reported which caused three deaths including two children and four other civilians were injured. The suicide attack was claimed by Balochistan Liberation Army Majeed Brigade. This is the second suicide bombing by Majeed Brigade in recent years.
In August 2021, Pakistani security forces have eliminated at least 34 militants while 15 suspected militants were arrested in 21 operations. Two security forces personnel were also killed in these operations. The highest number of security forces actions were reported from Sindh where seven notable incidents were monitored in which nine suspected militants were arrested.
Six security forces’ actions were reported from Balochistan where 28 militants were killed. Erstwhile FATA witnessed five security forces actions in which five people were killed, including three militants and two security forces personnel and two other suspected militants were arrested.
Two security forces’ actions were reported from Punjab where three militants were killed and two other suspects were arrested. One security forces action was carried out in KPK, which resulted in the arrest of two suspected militants.