Sharp Surge in Pak Security Forces’ Casualties

The report noted that there was a consistent and alarming increase in the violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan…reports Asian Lite News

Nearly 386 Pakistani security personnel — including 137 Army personnel and 208 policemen — have lost their lives during the first nine months of 2023 in the fight against terrorism, largely in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, putting it on an eight-year high, media reported.

“With 1,087 violence-related fatalities recorded so far during the year, the outlaws suffered 368 (34 per cent), followed by civilians with 333 (31 per cent) fatalities,” says the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) report — Q3 2023.

The report noted that there was a consistent and alarming increase in the violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, The News reported.

Equally greater concern is the collective percentage of violence-related fatalities recorded in these two provinces which indicates a disturbing upward trend over the last five years; together, they suffered 72 per cent of all fatalities in 2019, and this unsettling figure surged to a staggering 92 per cent in the first nine months of 2023.

During the third quarter of 2023, nearly 445 people lost their lives and 440 were injured in 190 terror attacks and counter-terror operations, The News reported.

The report said that KP and Balochistan were the epicentre of the violence, accounting for nearly 94 per cent of fatalities and 89 per cent of attacks (including incidents of terrorism and security forces operations) recorded during this period. 

The last quarter also recorded an alarming surge in violence by about 57 per cent, with the overall number of fatalities increasing from 284 in Q2 to 445 in Q3 of 2023.

Meanwhile, a top Iranian military official has said that Iran’s armed forces are ready for any form of cooperation with Pakistan in the “all-out fight” against terrorism.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks on Saturday in a message to Pakistani Chief of Army Staff Asim Munir to extend his sympathy over a deadly “terrorist” bomb blast at a religious gathering in Balochistan, which killed at least 50.

Baqeri expressed condolences to Pakistan’s Army chief, armed forces, government and people, and prayed for the speedy recovery of those injured in the tragic incident, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the semi-official Fars news agency.

An explosion occurred near a mosque on Friday during a religious gathering in the Kora Khan area of the Mastung district in the province.

The blast has killed at least 50 people, and more than 50 others sustained injuries, according to police and health officials.

The preliminary reports and police investigation showed that it was a suicide attack. No group has claimed responsibility for the blast yet.

In a message addressed to his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi on Friday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi condoled with the Pakistani government and people, and condemned the “terrorist” bomb attack.

ALSO READ: Iran Greenlights ‘Anti-Terrorism’ Cooperation With Pakistan

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