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Will Pakistan see more school attacks?

RANA MUHAMMAD USMAN UPDATED JAN 20, 2016 04:32PM

What types of weapons have been used in terror attacks on


educational institutions across the globe? Which region has
seen the most violence?
Most importantly, are such attacks likely to increase?
The answer to that last question is sadly, yes. Terrorist attacks on
places of learning around the world have risen to alarming levels;
higher than any point in more than 40 years. Its a global
phenomenon that is increasing at an exponential rate.
The Global Terrorism Database (GTD) at the University of
Maryland is an open-source database on terrorist events around
the world. From the database, covering 1970 to 2014, I extracted
data on terror attacks on educational institutions to study the
patterns of such terrorism.
Mapping data that records attacks on educational institutions
shows concerning trends.
Looking specifically at Pakistan, the rate at which attacks
increased in the run-up to the Army Public School massacre was
alarming. Therefore, an attack like that on the APS seemed likely.
While most of the attacks prior to APS were not lethal, both the
frequency and the damage they caused was on an unprecedented
rise.

rise.
The charts below provide a visual guide for attacks in Pakistan,
and the rest of the world.

Targeting educational institutes


Total no of people killed by country

Total no of attacks by country

Source: Global Terrorism Database

Pakistan has the highest number of people killed by country

(450) in school attacks attributed, in part, to the APS carnage.


Russia follows behind with 361 killed. The high number can be
attributed to the Beslan school siege in 2004 which claimed over
300 lives.
Pakistan has the highest number of attacks (850) on places of
learning by country. However, unlike the APS massacre, most of
these attacks were not lethal.

Terrorist attacks on educational institutions in


world regions since 1970
Armed Assault

Assassination

Hostage (Barricade)

Bombing/Explosion

Hostage (Kidnapping)

Facility Attack

Unarmed Assault

Unknown

Hijacking

140

120

80

60

40

stern Europe 17

USSR 8

haran Africa 51

utheast Asia 104

South Asia 151

uth America 28

Oceania 1

orth America 2

Middle East 102

stern Europe 0

East Asia 2

20
tral America 24

No of incidents

100

Western Euro

Sub-Saharan Afri

Southeast As

South As

South Ameri

Ocean

North Ameri

Middle Ea

Eastern Euro

East As

Central Ameri

Data shows the frequency of weapon used in terrorist attacks on educational institutions across the
world.

Source: Global Terrorism Database

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South Asia has seen the most number of attacks on educational


institutions since 1970, with bombings and explosions alone
claiming 951 lives.
Oceania has seen the least number of attacks on educational
institutions. Strict gun regulation laws that outlaw firearms may
be responsible for this low figure.

Number of attacks on educational


institutions in world regions since 1970
Central America 212
East Asia

13

Eastern Europe

20

Middle East 636


North America 164
Oceania

South America 351


South Asia 1436
Southeast Asia 358
Sub-Saharan Africa 259

Sub-Saharan Africa 259


USSR

35

Western Europe 169


0

200

400

600

800

1,000

1,200

1,400

Source: Global Terrorism Database

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In South Asia, there have been a total of 1,436 attacks on


educational institutions.
The second lead is taken by Middle East with 636 attacks on
places of learning.

Number of people killed or wounded


in terrorist attacks on educational
institutions since 1970
4,000
3,500
3,000
2,500
2,000
1,500

228

236

4353.2

1181.34

500

116.34

1,000

Killed

86

128

Unknown

Unarmed Assault

Hostage (Kidnapping)

1680

228

236
44

17

Hostage (Barricade)

Hijacking

302

43.5

Facility Attack

4353.2

1181.34

Bombing/Explosion

110

376

Assassination

1447

116.34

Armed Assault

Wounded

Data shows number of people killed and wounded in different types of terrorist
attacks on educational institutions from 1970-2014.

Source: Global Terrorism Database

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Bombings and explosions have killed 4353.2 people worldwide.


Bombs and explosions cause significantly more injuries than
fatalities when compared to armed assault, which is considered
the most lethal form of attack.

Weapon type used in attacks all over the world (1970-2015)

Unknown 7.46%
Melee 1.39%

Incendiary 14.11%

Biological 0.03%

Explosives/Bombs/Dynamite 52.27%

Firearms 23.40%

Source: Global Terrorism Database

Bombs and explosives are the most common method of carrying


out attacks, followed by firearms.
Together, explosives and firearms are responsible for 75pc of
terrorist attacks on educational institutions.

Frequency of school attacks by day

NA 0.71%
Friday 12.03%
Wednesday 15.72%

Monday 16.02%

Tuesday 17.85%

Saturday 10.96%

Thursday 14.98%
Sunday 11.73%

Source: Global Terrorism Database

Tuesday has seen the highest number of school attacks. While an


interesting fact, this has no real bearing on when an attack may
take place.

Highest number of attacks by month

September 7.11%

NA 0.71%

April 8.94%

August 6.94%

October 10.61%

December 7.00%

November 8.09%

February 8.37%

May 9.35%

January 7.52%

March 9.54%

July 7.14%
June 8.69%

Source: Global Terrorism Database

The month of October has seen the highest number of attacks on


educational institutions. As above, this has no real bearing on
when an attack may take place.

Cities/towns facing the highest number of school


attacks

Bangladesh 30
Chile 37
Colombia 37

28

El Savador 38
Guatemala 80
Iraq 73

33

16

Lebanon 28
Nigeria 27
Pakistan 62
Peru 51
Turkey 28
Algeria 20
Thailand 34
Burundi 18 18
India 16
Afghanistan

43
17

27

27

26 42

26 24 24

21 19

Afghanistan
Italy
Israel
Northern Ireland
United States
Philippines
Syria
0

50

100

150

200

250

300

350

400

Source: Global Terrorism Database

Pakistan takes the lead in violence in urban centres, with sixteen


cities on the table: Peshawar, Mohmand district, Bajaur district,
Safi, Bara, Karachi, Quetta, Bannu, Landi Kotal, Charsadda,
Orakzai district, Kabal, Shabqadar, Jamrud, Darra Adam Khel and
Khyber district. Among these, Peshawar has seen the highest
number of attacks (62).
Guatemala, with its long history of civil war, has seen 80 attacks
in Guatemala city. Baghdad and Limu follow closely behind.
Across the past four decades, South Asia has experienced 1,436
attacks on education, out of which 60pc took place in Pakistan.
This raises serious concerns about the safety of educational
institutions in Pakistan, which seems to be at the epicentre of a
horrifying trend.

Rana Muhammad Usman is an aspiring data scientist, who likes to write


about social issues. He tweets @rana_usman and works with

about social issues. He tweets @rana_usman and works with


PredictifyMe. He can be reached at usmanashrafrana@gmail.com

2011-15: Attacks on educational institutions in


Pakistan

March 9, 2011

School blown up in Darra


Adam Khel
The Kohiwal Middle School was destroyed in an attack by unknown
assailants.

The school building was completely destroyed in the attack. Reuters

School blo...

School blo...

School blo...

Girls scho...

March

2010
Timeline JS

June

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2011

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