Islamabad, Jan 6 (EFE).- Thousands of people protested on Friday in northwestern Pakistan against a recent surge in terrorism in the region after the main Taliban faction in the country, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, ended a ceasefire in November.
“Thousands of people protested today against the recent wave of terrorism and demanded peace in the area,” Haji Gul, a police official in the tribal district of Wana in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told EFE.
According to the locals, most of whom belong to the Pashtun community, the Taliban have returned to their area, forcing them to be a part of a conflict they did not want.
“Our people refuse to be used as cannon fodder and scapegoats in the new great game being imposed on the region,” tweeted Mohsin Sawar, a Pakistani lawmaker from the region.
The TTP has increased its attacks since the Afghan Taliban seized control of Kabul in August 2021, especially after November, when the rebels resumed fighting after a series of failed negotiations.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan (south) provinces, bordering Afghanistan, have been the worst affected by a wave of attacks, and in response the Pakistani government has strengthened security in the capital and increased operations against the TTP.
At least 11 alleged insurgents, including a TTP commander and two suicide bombers, were killed in Wana on Thursday during a raid of the security forces, the military’s information wing Inter Services Public Relations said in a statement.
However, on the same day a group of militants injured five people in am ambush against a police convoy accompanying an anti-polio vaccination team in the southwest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Pakistan witnessed 376 terror attacks in 2022, according to a report by the Center for Research and Security Studies, which said that the Pakistani security forces lost at least 282 members during the year, with as many as 40 personnel killed in December.
As per data compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, 2022 witnessed the highest number of terrorist incidents in the last five years, which resulted in the death of 533 people, apart from 832 getting injured. EFE