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Ex-FATA, Balochistan record highest fatalities in first quarter of 2021

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By Hamid Khan Wazir

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Despite significant progress in reducing the number of fatalities during the last few years, the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) (now merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) recorded the highest number of fatalities which stands 67, followed by Balochistan with 48.

The findings of the Quarter Security Report issued by the Center for Research and Security Studies here on Wednesday showed that Pakistan lost 196 persons in this first quarter of 2021, and another 42 were wounded. The erstwhile FATA recorded 67 fatalities, followed by Balochistan 48, KP 35, Sindh 26, Punjab 18, and Islamabad 2.

More than 70% of all fatalities were reported from KP (including ex-FATA), and Balochistan. Despite significant progress in reducing the number of fatalities from violence over the last 6 years, violence-related casualties seem concentrated in these two regions. These were some of the significant findings of the Quarter Security Report, Q1, 2021 issued by the Center for Research and Security Studies here on Wednesday.

A marginal uptick in the number of fatalities was recorded during this quarter when compared with the last quarter’s figures. Former FATA was the only region where there was a sharp upsurge in violence.

From a dip of 22% observed in January, the number of fatalities went up during the next two months. The highest surge was recorded in February that offset the gain that was observed in January.

North and South Waziristan districts of KP experienced the highest number of fatalities during Q1, 2021 followed by Karachi, Peshawar, Machh, and Sibbi with double-digit fatalities.

Like the previous quarter, gun violence was a major cause of fatalities in this quarter as well. Intelligence-based ground operations also continued to contribute to fatalities while other forms of violence like bomb explosions, armed attacks, and dumping of dead bodies after the abduction (many missing for months) were also reported. Encounters between the security personnel and outlaws caused the demise of 12 people and 4 encounters. A surge in the finding of dead bodies was also noticed during Q1, 2021.

Civilians again accounted for the largest number of fatalities this quarter (84). Militants, criminals, and insurgents also witnessed a marginal drop in their fatalities while the security personnel’s fatalities went up by 4%.

Fourteen persons lost their lives and three were injured in terror attacks that were motivated by sectarian hatred. Balochistan had the highest number of fatalities (11) from this crime while some incidents were also reported from Sindh, KP, and Punjab.

Other than the incidents of sectarian violence that were carried out by the outlaws, there was a sudden surge in religious-based violence in the country in Q1, 2021 that was committed by common people.

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