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North Waziristan Becoming Trouble Spot again

A slight upward tick has been observed in casualties in militant attacks in Pakistan during the month of April 2020, though the number of militant attacks remained the same as compared to March 2020. A slight increase is also observed in the activities of Pakistani security forces against the militants. An Islamabad-based think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) has released statistics for the last month which show number of casualties in militant activities increased by 6 percent but injuries decreased by 75 percent compared with March 2020, across Pakistan.

PICSS recorded a total of nine militant attacks during April 2020 in which eighteen people died including ten security forces personnel and eight militants while six security forces personnel got injured. Tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (former FATA) witnessed the highest number of violent militant activities where six out of total nine attacks took place. Eight security forces personnel lost their lives in the tribal districts of KP while eight militants were killed too. Four security forces personnel also got injured in former FATA. Apart from eight militants killed during retaliatory actions by security forces, 21 more militants were also killed in the tribal districts of KP in actions initiated by the security forces. It seems that the militants are trying to get back some territory in North Waziristan tribal district of KP where most of these violent activities were recorded during last month. The alarming situation in North Waziristan can be gauged from the fact that 90 percent of the casualties in violent incidents during the month of April took place in this district.

Two militant attacks were reported in Balochistan and one in Sindh –all of them of minor nature with two casualties in Balochistan.

No militant activity was recorded in Panjab, Gilgit Baltistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and other parts of Pakistan but incident of Kidnapping took place in the provincial capital of Sindh where a 39-year-old Chinese national was abducted. The Chinese trader was not working on any project related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. He was recovered after 9 days of kidnapping by Karachi Police.

Meanwhile, Pakistani security forces carried out a total of 16 actions against militants in areas of Balochistan, KPK, former FATA, and Sindh. Pakistani forces arrested 12 suspects involved in different terror and anti-state activities, including eight from Sindh and four from KP. Four members of Al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) were also arrested from Karachi.

An assistant sub-inspector of Police was arrested for his alleged ties with the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). During an information-based raid on Karachi University, Pakistani forces recovered weapons, ammunition, computers, anti-state literature, maps, and checkboxes. RAW agents were planning to establish an office in the Applied Economics Department of the University. In Pakistani forces actions, a total of 27 militants were killed and 4 security forces personnel died in retaliatory firing by the militants.

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