Human trafficking declines in Balochistan

QUETTA: Human trafficking incidents across Balochistan witnessed a decline in 2017 when compared to the previous year, as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) apprehended 1,620 persons for attempting to illegally cross the Iranian border.

According to FIA, it nabbed 8,512 persons for the offence in 2016, while 1,598 cases were registered against them. However, at least 1,620 persons were arrested while trying to cross the border without legal documents in 2017 and 829 cases were registered against them.

Deportation by the Iranian government also decreased as 21,316 people were sent back in 2017, compared to 26,000 in 2016.

However, “more than 100,000 persons travelled to Iran and other countries illegally from Balochistan in 2017,” according to FIA officials.

They added that about 20 people belonging to various areas of Punjab were killed by a banned group when they were trying to cross into Iran. They added that following the incident strict action was taken and many human traffickers were arrested from Quetta and other areas of the country.

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Terror incidents

Balochistan’s home department said the province suffered the highest number of terrorist attacks in 2017 and at least 260 people lost their lives in them. “Balochistan suffered the highest number of terrorist attacks this year,” stated a report issued by the department.

The total number of terrorist attacks that hit the province was 297. Of those nine incidents were of suicide bombing. The report said at least 11 Hazara community members died in eight targeted attacks.

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Attacks on security forces

The security forces faced the brunt of the attacks, being targeted 95 times –110 personnel were martyred and 205 injured.

The army was attacked four times in which it lost 19 soldiers and 36 were wounded. On the other hand, the Frontier Corps Balochistan, which is deployed in different districts of the province to maintain law and order, was attacked more than 60 times. In those attacks 27 soldiers were martyred and 83 were wounded.

The police suffered the highest number of casualties as 52 of its personnel were martyred, including DIG Hamid Shakil Sabir, in 18 incidents of terrorism across the province.

The security forces carried out 5,720 Intelligences Based Operations (IBOs) in the most restive parts of the province and seized a huge cache of explosives. “At least 11,595 weapons and millions of bullets were seized during the operations,” the report said.

The security forces in retaliatory actions killed 345 terrorists, while 19,257were arrested.

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Bomb and rocket attacks

At least 37 bomb attacks were reported across Balochistan in 2017, which claimed the lives of 54 people and left 164 injured. On the other hand, 37 landmine blasts were reported, which claimed 16 lives and wounded 37 people. At least 30 grenade attacks took place, leaving two people dead and 57 injured.

According to the report, electricity pylons were damaged in seven attacks and gas pipelines six times, while militants could only blow up one railway track.

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Settlers killed

Meanwhile, attacks on settlers from other provinces declined but did not end in 2017. At least seven people died and 10 others were injured in five armed attacks.

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