ISLAMABAD: The year 2014 saw more bloodshed in the country as terrorist attacks, drone strikes, and targeted killings claimed as many as 7,655 lives in 2014 compared to 5,687 last year.
Due to security operations, the deaths rose by three times but fatalities from the terror attacks and targeted killings reduced by 15 percent. Nonetheless, a spike of 35 percent in the overall deaths was registered during the year.
Nafees Farooqi, senior research fellow, Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Nafees Farooqi, who presented these statistics at the launch ceremony of a “Conflict/violence report for the year 2014” on Friday, said: “The major upsurge in violence was recorded in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), where casualties more than doubled from 1,457 in 2013 to 3,399 in 2014. The chief reason for the surge in deaths in Fata is the military-led operation Zarb-e-Azb in the North Waziristan Agency.”
He went on to say that the second largest increase was in Punjab where deaths from violence increased by 158 percent from 120 in 2013 to 309 in 2014. A part of this augmented figure, he said, may be ascribed to the November 1, 2014, bombing at the Wagah border which killed 60 people.
According to the report, violence-related deaths saw a reduction in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa — 945 in 2014 compared to 1,031 deaths in 2013. Terror-related fatalities saw the largest decrease in Gilgit-Baltistan from 20 in 2013 to just three in 2014.
The unexpected upsurge in deaths began from June 2014 which can be ascribed to the start of the military operation.
Violence accelerated towards the end of the year compared to 2013, resulting in more deaths. The last three months of 2014 were particularly gory with a frightening 258 percent upsurge compared to 2013.
According to the report, 1,498 of the total fatalities directly resulted from terror attacks, with as many as 40.9 percent of all the fatalities attributed to terror attacks being claimed by the militant organizations.
Violence of one form or another also claimed lives of as many as 133 women and 270 children, while approximately 40 schools and three colleges were also bombed.
The highest casualties—2,029—were registered in Karachi while North Waziristan Agency and Khyber Agency saw 1,825 and 1,187 fatalities, respectively. A total of 431 people were killed in Peshawar and 170 in Quetta.
According to Zeeshan Salahuddin, the director communications and strategy CRSS, 3,380 of the deaths occurred due of security operations. He went on to say that as many as 2,125 people were killed in targeted killings, 982 in militant attacks, 516 in terror incidents and 209 in drone attacks.
Imtiaz Gul, the head of the CRSS, said that as many as 30 suicide attacks were reported in 2014 but these suicide bombers were not included in the list of people killed during the year.