Pakistan sees 18 suicide attacks in first half of 2023: Think tank report

Islamabad: Pakistan, which is grappling with a surge in suicide attacks, reported 18 such incidents in the first seven months of 2023 that killed more than 200 people and left over 450 others injured, according to a think tank report.

The report was published by the Pak­is­tan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS), a day after an Islamic State suicide bomber triggered a powerful blast that killed at least 54 people at a political convention of a hardline Islamist party in the restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistan experienced 15 suicide attacks in the entirety of 2022, significantly less than the number of suicide attacks witnessed in the first seven months of this year, Dawn News cited Monday’s report by the Islamabad-based think tank.

The report said the most severely affected region was the restive tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, accounting for half of the total suicide attacks in 2023.

The nine attacks in the area claimed around 60 lives, while over 150 others sustained injuries, the report said.

However, Sunday’s attack during a Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) JUI-F gathering was the deadliest in the tribal belt this year so far.

The attack on the JUI-F rally was claimed by the banned militant group Islamic State.

“Mainland” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa faced its own share of devastation, with four suicide attacks causing the deaths of more than 110 people and leaving 245 injured, the report said.

Balochistan, which also experienced a troubling wave of violence, encountered at least four suicide attacks within the first seven months of 2023, killing 14 people and injuring 27 others.

Separately, one suicide attack was reported in Sindh, claiming five lives and injuring 18 persons.

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