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Thousands killed in drone strikes, terror attacks since 2004

ISLAMABAD: A total of 409 drone attacks have been conducted in Pakistan since January 2004, in which 2,714 people have been killed and 728 injured.

The majority of the strikes were carried out during the government of Pakistan Peoples Party between 2008 and 2012. Sources within the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) recently shared details, claiming that the period saw 336 aerial attacks, in which 2,282 people lost their lives and 658 received injuries. The officials added that 2010 alone saw 117 attacks that cost 775 people their lives and injured another 193. Between 2013 and 2018 — during the government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz — a total of 65 drone attacks occurred. A total of 301 people died and 70 were injured. In 2018, two drone attacks have been conducted so far. One person was killed and one was injured.

It is however worth remembering that the top leadership of the Taliban in Pakistan has been killed in drone attacks.

The attacks over the years have targeted the areas of Bajaur, Bannu, Hangu, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Nushki, Orakzai, and South Waziristan. The officials of Nacta added that 289 attacks were conducted in North Waziristan alone, in which 1,651 individuals were killed and 421 were injured. South Waziristan saw 91 attacks that killed 707 individuals and injured 215. There were 13 strikes in the Kurram Agency that killed 110 and injured 32, five in the Khyber Agency that killed 57 and injured 29, four in the Bajaur Agency that killed 129, two in Hangu that killed seven and injured two, one in the Mohmand Agency that killed 18 and injured 18 and one in Nushki that killed two.

Nacta sources say 336 aerial attacks took place during PPP’s government while 65 occurred when PML-N was in power

Terror attacks

At least 19,177 civilians and officials have been killed so far and 47,869 have been injured in the18,850 terror related attacks in Pakistan since 2001, the officials stated. The attacks, they said, mostly targeted Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and were carried out through different methods that included bomb explosions, hand grenade attacks, mine explosions, missiles, rockets, and suicide attacks. Terrorists also targeted minorities geared to instigate sectarian violence and employed sophisticated methods, including the usage of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) — vehicle explosive devices as well as radio controlled improvised devices.

During the current year — 2018 — 405 terrorist attacks have taken place in the country, in which 133 officials and 233 civilians have been killed and 348 personnel and 567 civilians have been injured.

In Punjab, 14 incidents of bomb blasts, suicide attacks and engagements with terrorists led to the deaths of six LEA officials and as many civilians during the year. Four officials and 52 civilians have so far been injured.

Sindh has seen 11 incidents of terror related attacks, which included strikes on LEAs, through bomb explosions, hand grenade attacks and general aggressive engagement with terrorists. The province has also had to contend with suicide attacks and IED explosions. Two LEA officials and as many civilians lost their lives and eight officials as well as six civilians have been injured.

There were 51 incidents targeting LEAs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the year. 21 personnel and 11 civilians have been killed and 55 officials and 57 civilians have been injured in these attacks.

In Baluchistan, 172 incidents were recorded — mostly targeting LEAs. Ranging from bomb explosions, to suicide attacks, and involving sectarian violence. The officials stated that 58 personnel and 193 civilians have lost their lives in the current year. 166 officials and 396 have been injured as well.

In Fata, during the current year, there have been a total 150 incidents involving LEAs in the tribal districts. According to the officials, 42 personnel and 21 civilians have been killed, with another 110 and 52 injured.

Gilgit-Baltistan has also seen an unfortunate six incidents during the year, with officials reporting that four personnel lost their lives. Four LEA officials and as many civilians were injured. Only one incident of a mine explosion was recorded in Azad Kashmir during the year. One official was injured.

Fortunately, Islamabad, the capital of the country has remained safe the entire year.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2018

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