PESHAWAR - Terrorist incidents in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) increased by 72 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, as compared to the last quarter of 2016.

This was stated in a FATA Research Centre report released on Thursday.

The report stated that 69 violent incidents took place during the last quarter of 2016, while 119 such incidents were recorded in the first quarter of 2017. Out of these incidents, 57 were terrorist attacks while 62 related to various counter-terrorism actions.

Similarly, 54 per cent of the terrorist attacks targeted the civilians, while 42 per cent were carried out against the security forces. Four percent of the terrorist attacks targeted members of amn lashkars in the region.

There was a spike in terms of casualties during the first quarter of 2017, in which 491 casualties were reported as compared to 180 casualties during the last quarter of 2016. The casualties included 281 deaths and 210 injured.

It was further observed that 50 per cent of the total casualties during the first quarter comprised of civilians, while 37 per cent casualties related to those of terrorists.

Eleven per cent of the casualties belonged to the security forces and two percent were that of members of amn lashkars.

In terms of casualties, Kurram Agency remained the most volatile agency of Fata during the outgoing quarter. In total, 212 casualties (69 killed and 143 injured) were recorded from different areas of the agency.

Khyber Agency, where military operations are going on, follows the list with 119 casualties. Mohamand Agency remained third with 66 casualties (48 killed and 18 injured).

Bajaur and South Waziristan Agency also remained disturbed during the first quarter of 2017 with 32 (13 killed and 19injured) and 23 (17 killed and 6 injured) casualties respectively.

North Waziristan Agency witnessed a calmer period as terrorist incidents and the resultant casualties decreased as compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, the report said.

During the first quarter of 2017, Mehsud Taliban and banned Jamaatul Ahrar remained dominant terrorist groups to carry out terrorist activities with the use of improvised explosive devices (IED). According to the report, 27 IED attacks, 15 incidents of target killings, 10 ambushes, three cross-border attacks and two suicide blasts occurred during the first quarter of 2017.

FATA Research Centre Security Analyst Irfanuddin said that the surge in violent incidents and resultant casualties shows that the terrorist outfits were regaining their operational capacity for carrying out subversive activities across the region.

“Although terrorist networks have been largely dismantled in the recent military operations in Fata the regrouping of Pakistani Taliban in Afghanistan and the reunion of Khan Said Group of Mehsud Taliban with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan were the two major factors which have allowed Taliban to step up terrorist attacks in Fata and the rest of the country,” he said.

“Terrorists belonging to Khan Said Group and TTP-Jamatul Ahrar were already carrying out terrorist activities inside Fata. However, their merger has allowed them to carry out coordinated and large-scale attacks not only inside Fata but also in rest of the country,” he added.