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44% Killed in Armed Conflict in South Asia were Civilians

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[/full]MSR feb 11 titleEveryday of February 2011 witnessed 11armed conflicts and 24 resultant deaths in three South Asian states – Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Every two out of five people killed, in insurgency or counter-militancy campaign, were non-combatant ordinary people. Afghanistan remained the worst victim of violence where everyday witnessed at least 4 incidents of violence and 14 consequent fatalities including killing of a foreign soldier.

It has been revealed in a report compiled by Conflict Monitoring Center (CMC), an Islamabad based research center that focuses on armed conflicts arising out of the anti-state and anti-government insurgencies and counter-militancy campaigns in South Asia. The report is based on the data compiled from mainstream national and international media. The report shows that Afghanistan continues to be the worst victim of violence in the region, followed by Pakistan. Overall, 296 incidents of armed conflicts were reported during the month killing at least 681 people and leaving more than 549 others injured in the region. Those killed included 299 civilians, 224 alleged militants and 158 security forces personnel. Out of them, at least 120 incidents of violence and killing of 384 people were reported in Afghanistan while 106 armed conflicts took 239 lives in Pakistan. In India, at least 58 people were killed in 70 incidents.

Anti-state and anti-government insurgencies took more lives than security forces actions. The former took lives of 412 people in 232 incidents while the latter resulted in killing of 243 people in 54 anti-insurgency operations. Yet 26 more people were killed in 10 other incidents including drone attacks in Pakistan. The number of militants’ activities remained almost equal in Afghanistan and Pakistan though the former witnessed the highest resultant killings in such incidents in the region. In Afghanistan, 92 insurgent acts took 228 lives while 156 people were killed in 90 militants’ activities in Pakistan. There were 29 people killed in 50 incidents of militancy in India. The counter-militancy campaign by security forces took lives of 160 people in 28 incidents in Afghanistan while 10 such actions killed 61 people in Pakistan. Indian security forces killed 28 people in 18 incidents. The most of the victims of security forces actions in three countries were the alleged militants which constituted more than half (54%) of total casualties in such actions. Out of 135 total militants’ deaths, 61 were reported in Afghanistan, 57 in Pakistan and 17 in India. The highest ratio of militants’ casualties to total deaths in security forces actions was observed in Pakistan i.e. 92 % as compared to 61 % in India and 39 % in Afghanistan.

The civilian population remained the largest victim of armed conflicts in the region, as 299 out of 681, constituting about 44 % of total victims of violence in three countries, were non-combatant ordinary people. Slightly less than one-half (47 %) of the total victims of insurgencies in the region were civilians. Almost three-fourth of the civilian killings were reported in Afghanistan where the highest victim of both militants’ activities and security forces actions were also civilians. Almost three-fifth of the total victims of both militants’ activities and security forces actions were civilians in Afghanistan. About one-half of the victims of insurgency and one-third of those of security forces

actions in India were non-combatant ordinary people. The ratio of civilian to total deaths in security forces actions remained lowest (6.5 %) in Pakistan where only 4 out of 61 total victims of such action were non-combatants. The most of the civilian casualties in the country, i.e. 49 out of 53, were reported in militants’ activities. About one-third of victims all militants’ activities, two-third of those of bomb blasts and almost all victims of targeted killings in Pakistan were non-combatant ordinary people.

The armed conflicts also took lives of 158 security forces personnel in the region. Out of them, 82 including 33 foreign troops were killed in Afghanistan, 66 in Pakistan and 10 in India. The most of the security forces losses in Pakistan were observed in suicide attacks in Khyber PK.

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