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Friday, June 8, 2012

CMC report says violence jumped up 350pc in Quetta

Usman ManzoorSaturday, June 09, 2012
From Print Edition

ISLAMABAD: Violence in Quetta increased by 350 percent during May 2012 as compared to preceding months and the security forces could kill only one militant during the month, reveals the monthly report of the Conflict Monitoring Centre (CMC).

“An unprecedented escalation of militant attacks in Quetta district of the troubled Balochistan province shows grim security situation but hand-tied security forces have restricted themselves only to defensive tactics. The militants killed 16 security forces personnel including an SSP and seven policemen but the security forces could eliminate only one militant during the month,” says the report released by the CMC, an independent research centre based in Islamabad. The report mentions that civilians remained the major victims of militant attacks in Balochistan during May 2012, as 51 out of 67 victims were civilians. Militant violence affected 19 out of total 30 districts of Balochistan during the month.

“Quetta was most affected district of the province as 43 percent (28 out of 65) militant attacks were recorded in the provincial capital. The worrying sign is that violence in Quetta increased 350 percent as compared to April when only 8 incidents of militant attacks were recorded. Average number of militant attacks in Quetta during first four months of the year was 12. An unprecedented level of increase in militant attacks in Quetta demands immediate response from counter insurgency mechanism of the provincial as well as central government,” the report says. The CMC statistics show that overall militant attacks in Balochistan once again surpassed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata and the militants have carried out more than ever attacks against forces. “Generally they use to hit soft targets and avoid forces but during May 2012 at least 15 attacks were carried out against police, Levies, and Frontier Constabulary.”

The CMC data shows the militants active in Balochistan are now consistently using sophisticated weapons against the government and public properties. “This trend is observed since start of the year 2011. Statistics of the month of May, however, show that more sophisticated weapons were used against police and Frontier Constabulary. The militants used 15 (missiles) IEDs in the month and half of them were used against forces.”

The CMC has already warned in its quarterly report that if concrete security measures were not taken against militants in this phase of militancy in Balochistan, the menace might enter into a no-return phase. The report says: “In May 2012, a senior police officer, SSP Shah Nawaz, was killed while the commissioner of Kalat narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. Seven policemen were killed and 9 wounded during the month. Police is not trained to fight organised militants.

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