Pakistan violence drops for third year running


ISLAMABAD: Casualties linked to militancy and violence have dropped in Pakistan for the third consecutive year, with 21 percent fewer fatalities in 2017 than in the previous year, a security think-tank says.

Some 2,057 people were killed and 2,074 wounded for a total of 4,131 casualties over the year, according to a report by the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies seen Wednesday.

That continued the trend from 2016, in which 2,613 people lost their lives due to violence and 1,714 were injured. In 2015, 4,647 people were killed and 1,927 injured, the group’s figures show.

The dramatic improvement in security came after the army launched an operation in June 2014 to wipe out militant bases in the northwestern tribal areas and end a bloody insurgency that has cost thousands of civilian lives since 2004.

It has involved a series of military offensives as well as some attempts to block the militants’ sources of funding. Those efforts were in the spotlight again when a global terror financing monitor voted last month to put Pakistan on a watchlist.

The remnants of militant groups, however, are still sometimes able to carry out periodic bloody attacks. The report further warned that even with the security improvement, new militant groups have appeared in the country.

It also said Daesh had claimed responsibility for attacks that left at least 143 people dead — more than twice the 68 people the report said were killed by the group in 2016.


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