Pakistan’s Army chief General Syed Asim Munir has vowed to eliminate the menace of terrorism from the country through “unabated” military operations against militants following Friday’s twin suicide attacks that have killed 65 people.
A total of 60 people were killed and more than 60 others were injured in a grisly suicide blast on Friday in Balochistan that targeted a procession to celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday near the Madina Masjid in Mastung, an official said.
In the second bomb attack that took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu, targeting a police station’s mosque, five people were killed, and 12 others were injured as the mosque’s roof collapsed in the explosion’s impact, it said.
The Chief of Army Staff visited Quetta on Saturday where he was briefed on recent terrorist attacks, the Army’s media wing said in a statement on Saturday night. Munir said that the heretics who have nothing to do with Islam were carrying out such attacks with the “backing of state sponsors of terrorism”.
“These terrorists and their facilitators, having no link with religion and ideology, are proxies of the enemies of Pakistan and its people,” he said, without giving more details.
The Army chief added: “These forces of evil will continue to face the full might of the state and security forces backed by a resilient nation.” “Our operation against terrorists would continue unabated and the Armed Forces, Intelligence and Law Enforcement Agencies shall not rest till the menace of terrorism is rooted out from the country.” No group has claimed responsibility for the attack in Balochistan so far however, the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan, denied its involvement.
Meanwhile, a think-tank report showed that Pakistan’s security forces have experienced their highest casualties in eight years, with at least 386 personnel losing their lives in the first nine months of 2023.
The Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) report also said a troubling 57 per cent surge in violence nationwide, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.
In the CRSS Security Report for the third quarter of 2023, it is highlighted that among the 1,087 violence-related fatalities recorded this year, security forces accounted for 36 per cent of the casualties, marking an eight-year high. This figure includes 137 Army personnel and 208 police personnel.
The rise in violence is particularly concentrated in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan
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