BAJAUR AGENCY - The number of terror-related incidents in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas has declined by 40 per cent during 2015 as compared to 2014, revealed the annual security report issued by FATA Research Centre.According to the report, total 293 terrorist and counter militancy attacks were reported in the entire tribal areas during the last year in which at least 1,679 people were killed and injured 561 others.

“Out of the total militancy incidents in 2015, 13 were target killings; 43 were militant attacks on civilians, 60 were militants ambush on military and 17 incidents of militant attack on member peace committee; 13 were cross-border attacks; 4 were kidnapping for ransom and 3 were incident clashes between various militant outfits”, the report said.

According to the report, out of the total casualties, 1,463 were militants accounting for almost 65 per cent of the total casualties in year 2015 while civilian causalities, 313, stood at second including 108 killings and 205 injured almost 14 per cent of the total casualties followed by security forces, 78 killings and 122 injured, almost 9 per cent of the total casualties, and member of peace committees with 30 killings and 17 injuries, almost 2 per cent of the total casualties.“North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies remained the most turbulent agencies of FATA, where military operations against both local and foreign militants are going on”, said the report.

The report said that Kurrum Agency witnessed an extraordinary increase in casualties in all forms i.e. casualties on part of security forces were around 43 per cent more than previous year while 98 per cent increase civilians causalities was witnessed in 2015 while South Waziristan Agency marked an overall decrease in casualties compared to previous year with exception to an incremental increase of 362 per cent in security forces casualties.“Bajaur Agency, despite cross border attacks, IED attacks and target killing incidents remained the least turbulent agency of FATA with 49 Killings and 30 injuries, 3.5 per cent of the total causalities; followed by Mohmand Agency, 54 killings and 43 injuries, 4.3 per cent of the total causalities and Orakzai Agency with 71 killings and 28 injuries, around 4.4 per cent of the total casualties in the year 2015”, added the report.

According to the report, the militants mainly employed target killing against personnel of law enforcement and security agencies, political representatives, tribal elders and members of anti-Taliban tribal militias.  

“The suicide attacks, which used to be the most preferred and effective tactics of militants in the past had witnessed a sharp decline of more than 50 per cent during the past two years [2014-2015]”, said the report.According to Mansur Khan Mehsud, Director Research FRC, The shift in militants’ tactics i.e. from suicide attacks to target killing amid the nose dive in militancy-related incidents illustrates the significance of intensive hardcore approaches adopted by the Pakistan government in debilitating the militant networks of both local and foreign militants operating in tribal areas of Pakistan. The report also said that for the first time a senior commanders of Pakistani Taliban, Qari Saifullah Mehsud of Hakeemullah Mehsud Group of South Waziristan, have blamed Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan for receiving financial assistance from India.