Study: In 2023, Terrorist Acts Kill Almost 1,000 Pakistanis


Militant attacks across Pakistan killed around 500 civilians and a similar number of security forces in 2023, the highest number of fatalities the country has experienced in six years, according to a new report released Sunday.

Northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and southwestern Baluchistan provinces bordering Afghanistan accounted for most of the terror attacks and the resulting casualties, the report by the Islamabad-based independent Center for Research and Security Studies, or CRSS, said.

It noted that 2023 was the deadliest year for Pakistani police and military forces in a decade, collectively losing more than 500 personnel in terrorist bombings and ambushes.

Anti-state groups, such as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan, or TJP, separate Baloch insurgents, and a regional affiliate of Islamic State, known as the Islamic State Khorasan, often claim or are blamed for the violence.

The Pakistani military has reported the deaths of at least 265 officers and soldiers in nationwide militant attacks and counterinsurgency operations in 2023. In December, militants raided an army base in a northwestern district and killed at least 23 soldiers in the deadliest attack in the country’s recent history.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police said in its annual report this week that militant attacks claimed the lives of its 185 personnel. Police in Baluchistan also suffered fatalities, but provincial authorities have formally not released any details.

Pakistan says TTP and other fugitive militants have increasingly and freely carried cross-border terrorist attacks from sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Islamist Taliban seized power in the neighboring country in August 2021.

Officials in Islamabad allege that Afghan fighters linked to the ruling Taliban in Kabul have also facilitated and participated in TTP-led assaults on Pakistani security forces and civilians.

The military said in a statement Sunday that one of its soldiers was killed when “terrorists from inside Afghanistan opened fire on a Pakistani border post.” The pre-dawn shooting occurred in the volatile North Waziristan border district.

Pakistan renewed its demand for the Taliban government to “ensure effective border management” on their side of the shared 2,600-kilometer frontier between the two countries. The statement said that Kabul “is expected to fulfill its obligations and deny the use of Afghan soil by terrorists for perpetuating acts of terrorism against Pakistan.”

The United Nations has also documented in its recent reports the presence of thousands of TTP fighters on Afghan soil.

Afghan Taliban officials reject charges they are sheltering or allowing the use of their territory for staging attacks against Pakistan or any other country.

Commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban, the TTP, a globally designated terrorist group, is a close ally of the ruling Taliban in Kabul, and the two jointly waged insurgent attacks against the United States-led Western forces until they withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021.

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