Surge in political violence claims 75 lives in a week

Islamabad: Political violence in the third week of December affected 241 people in 41 incidents across the country, killing 75 people and injuring 166 others, a Free & Fair Election Network FAFEN reported.

Twenty two incidents were reported in Sindh followed by 10 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 6 in Balochistan, 2 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and one in Gilgit-Baltistan. No incident of political violence was reported in Punjab in this week.

Compared to the second week, the number of incidents went down from 52 to 41, but more people died and wounded – 75 and 166 – in political violence in the third week. In the second week, 61 people were killed and 51 injured in incidents of political violence.

Most of the casualties – 15 killed, 69 injured – were reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Twenty four people died and 75 were injured in FATA while Sindh witnessed 25 deaths as seven others were injured. In Balochistan nine people were killed and 12 injured and Gilgit-Baltistan reported two deaths and three injured.

Incidents of terrorism claimed 47 lives and left 154 injured across the country. Nine incidents of target killings took the lives of 11 people in Karachi while in one incident in Swat a person was killed and another was injured. A tribal conflict in North Waziristan Agency claimed five lives and wounded four others. In ethnic violence in Bolan three people died while in attacks on political party workers, an MQM worker was killed while a PPP worker was injured in Karachi.

Seven people died and six others injured in sectarian attacks in the third week. Of them, four were killed in Karachi, two in Gilgit-Baltistan and one in Quetta.

The major tactic of political violence was bomb blasts, killing 19 people and injuring 79 others. The second most lethal tactic was gun/firearm which killed 48 people and injured 38 others. Suicide attack in combination with gun/firearm killed five people and injured 46 others. Missile/mortar killed and injured three each.

Khyber agency was the most violent place where a car bomb went off in the town of Jamrud, killing 19 people and injuring 71 others. Peshawar was the second most violent place where a high profile attack on the airport took lives of five people and injured 46 others. Two attacks on polio lady heath workers were also reported in which one was killed while another was injured.

Karachi was the third highest violent city witnessing 25 deaths, mostly in the incidents of target killings and sectarian attacks. Additionally five attacks were carried out against polio lady health workers. In Nowshera, 18 people were injured in hand grenades attack on an army recruitment centre.

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