PESHAWAR: Security situation has slightly improved in the newly merged tribal districts during the year 2018.

According to the Annual Security Report issued by the Fata Research Centre, an Islamabad-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), issued on Tuesday, the security situation improved in 2018 as compared on 2017 as a total of 264 violent incidents (127 terrorism and 137 counter-terrorism) were recorded during 2018 in the tribal districts as compared to 325 (153 terrorism and 172 counter terrorism) incidents in 2017.

The figures showed that the year 2018 witnessed a decrease of 17 percent in terrorism incidents and 20 percent decrease in counter terrorism incidents as compared to 2017.

The report said that out of total 127 terrorist incidents in 2018, 63 attacks (50 percent) targeted the security forces, while in 58 attacks (45 percent) civilians were targeted. Five terrorist attacks (4 percent) targeted members of civil militia or Amn Lashkar. One incident of infighting between terrorist groups was also report during 2018.

The report further said the violent incidents of terrorism and counter-terrorism resulted in a total of 366 casualties, including 152 deaths and 214 injuries, in the tribal districts, marking a significant decrease of 70 percent in overall casualties. Of the total casualties, 192 (75 killed and 117 injured) were that of civilians, accounting for 52 percent of the overall casualties.

136 casualties (75 killed and 92 injured) were borne by the security forces which make it 37 percent of the overall casualties while eight casualties of Amn Lashkar personnel (five killed and three injured) were also reported during 2018.

The report said that in terms of volatility, North Waziristan tribal district remained the most turbulent one after 58 terrorism incidents during 2018 as compared to 27 such incidents in 2018. Bajaur was second volatile tribal district with 21 terrorism incidents, followed by Khyber and South Waziristan, where 18 and 16 terror incidents took place.

Three incidents of terrorism were reported in Orakzai tribal district, but massive civilian casualties happened in these attacks.

Senior Security Analyst at Fata Research Centre Irfanuddin said decline in terror incidents in 2018 illustrates the effectiveness of military operations in weakening the operational capacity of terrorist groups.

He however said that some militant organisations would surely try to strengthen their capacity, but the security forces would not let any outlets to carry out their anti-peace activities in the region.

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