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0712 flag pakistanSectarian violence in Karachi is just another chapter in Pakistan’s long history of violence against minorities, has afflicted Pakistan virtually from its moment of birth...


U.S. allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, smiling through their teeth, are feverishly hoping that Washington will maintain its security commitments. The Russians are ... . . ..   


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Growing support for suicide terrorism


PAKISTAN: News Briefs

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107 militants killed during the week in FATA: At least seven militants were killed and one other was injured in a US drone strike in the Shawal area of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 28.

At least 53 militants, including 12 foreigners, were killed when jet fighters of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) conducted aerial strike on militants' hideout in the Kharh Tangi area of Dattakhel tehsil (revenue unit) in NWA on January 27.

In another strike in the same area later, 23 militants were killed.

16 militants were killed and 12 others injured when PAF planes pounded their hideouts in Therkho Kas, Wacha Wana, Sra Vella and Nakai areas of Tirah valley in Khyber Agency.

Eight suspected militants, including key 'commanders' of various outfits, were killed and several others sustained injuries when jet fighters of PAF blitzed their positions in various areas including Speen Drand, Tor Darra, Tarkhu Kas in Kukikhel, Nakai and other areas in Tirah Valley on January 26. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, January 27-February 2, 2015.

69 civilians and 18 militants among 88 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, on February 1 claimed to have killed five gangsters in an encounter in the Salar Goth area of Malir Town in Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Sindh Police on February 1 claimed to have killed four Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants in a shootout in the Manghopir area of Gadap Town and recovered weapons and explosive material from their possession.

At least 61 Shias were killed and 50 others were injured in a bomb explosion at Karbala Maula Imambargah (Shia place of commemoration) in the Lakhi Dar area of Shikarpur District on January 30.

Senior Superintended of Police (SSP) Malir Rao Anwar Ahmed on January 28 claimed to have killed five militants in Nawab Goth area within the limits of Steel Town Police Station in Bin Qasim Town of Karachi.. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, January 27-February 2, 2015.

Minorities vulnerable to attacks, HRW says in its World Report 2015: Pakistan's Government should ensure the security of the country's religious minorities from judicial injustice and attacks by militants, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said in its World Report 2015. The HRW said violent attacks on religious minorities rose significantly in 2014 as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Government failed to ensure religious freedoms. "Pakistan's Government did little in 2014 to stop the rising toll of killings and repression by extremist groups that target religious minorities," said Phelim Kine, Deputy Asia Director at HRW. Tribune, January 31, 2015.

Special force to guard schools: A special force will be formed to guard educational institutes in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the rest of the country, an unnamed senior official of the Home Department said. "We have 64,000 educational institutions and the total number of policemen is just 75, 000. If we deploy a single member of the force at every institution, Police Stations will be empty," the official added, stressing on the need for an additional force to guard schools. In the wake of the Army Public School (APS) massacre on December 16, 2014, in Peshawar, the Provincial and Federal Governments sat down to chalk out a comprehensive security plan for schools and colleges. Tribune, January 29, 2015.

More journalists killed in Pakistan than any other democracy, says CPJ Asia Coordinator Bob Dietz: Asia Coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Bob Dietz, on January 27 said that Pakistan ranks worryingly high when it comes to the number of attacks on journalists in democratic countries. He deplored that the authorities in Pakistan had failed to move forward in this regard and had not been able to provide an environment conducive for journalists so far. Dawn, January 28, 2015.

'Getting funds through United States to run the organisation in Pakistan', reveals Islamic State local operative Yousuf al-Salafi: The local 'commander' of Islamic State, Yousuf al-Salafi, confessed during investigations that he has been receiving funds through the United States (US). Law Enforcing Agencies had claimed on January 22, 2015, that they arrested al-Salafi, along with his two companions, during a joint raid in Lahore District. However, sources revealed that al-Salafi was arrested sometimes in December 2014 and it was only disclosed on January 22, 2015. Dawn, January 28, 2015.

Army won't abandon FATA till return of functional normalcy, says COAS General Raheel Sharif: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif on January 27 reiterated that Pakistan Army would not abandon Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) without restoring functional normalcy. Speaking to officers and men during his visit to Mohmand Agency, the COAS appreciated their professionalism, dedication and sacrifices in fighting terrorism and bringing 'stability' in Mohmand Agency. Daily Times, January 28, 2015.

'US to kill or nab Mullah Fazlullah', Senate Standing Committee on Defence informed: The Senate Standing Committee on Defence was informed on January 26 that the US had assured Pakistan of killing the top Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah or arresting him alive. The Defence Secretary Lieutenant General (retd) Alam Khattak told the Senate committee that the US has assured Pakistan of full cooperation to arrest or kill Mullah Fazlullah. The News, January 27, 2015.

47 militants and four Security Force personnel among 51 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 35 suspected militants, an unspecified number of foreigners among them, were killed when military planes shelled their hideouts in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 25.

At least seven militants and three soldiers were killed during a clash in the Banda area of Salarzai town in Bajaur Agency on January 19.

Five militants were killed when a US drone fired two missiles at a compound in Shahi Khel neighbourhood of Shawal in NWA on January 19. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, January 20-26, 2015.

JuD not banned, only accounts frozen; clarifies Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit: Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit on January 23 said that there is no ban on Jama'at-ud Dawa (JuD) but its accounts have been frozen and movement of its members restricted as per the United Nations (UN) resolution. "We are proceeding strictly in accordance with UN resolution and Jama'at's bank accounts have been frozen, there is a ban on travel abroad of its leadership. We are moving in accordance with whatever is required under the UN resolution. I do not see much else needs to be done,'' Basit said. He also stated that the facilities of JuD have been taken over by the Government of Pakistan. Daily Times, January 24, 2015.

No record of banned outfits available, says Supreme Court: The Supreme Court on January 22 directed the Federal Government to upload the details pertaining to terrorist outfits banned by the Government on websites, adding that there was no such record and friendly countries should also be informed in this regard. A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, heard the suo moto case on the errors in legal books and journals. During the hearing, the court asked its staff to check the websites of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), the Ministry of Law and Ministry of Interior. However, after checking these websites, nothing was found pertaining to details of banned terrorist outfits. The News, January 24, 2015.

There will be no peace if UN doesn't make international law against blasphemy, threatens LeT founder and JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed: Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the Chief of Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) and the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), during a rally in Lahore on January 18 while urging Muslims across the world to boycott French commodities in protest against the publication of sacrilegious caricatures by French magazine Charlie Hebdo said that the United Nations (UN) should declare blasphemy as terrorism and pass an international law against it. "… There will be no peace if international laws are not made against blasphemy," threatened Saeed. Tribune, January 19, 2015.

IS recruiting members in Pakistan and Afghanistan, says commander of The Resolute Support Mission General John Campbell: The commander of The Resolute Support Mission, the new mission of United States (US) and NATO forces in Afghanistan, General John Campbell on January 18 warned that the Islamic State (IS) is making recruitment in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We are seeing reports of some recruiting," said General Campbell, adding, "There have been some night letter drops, there have been reports of people trying to recruit both in Afghanistan and Pakistan, quite frankly."Dawn, January 19, 2015.

2,000 militants killed in North Waziristan Agency so far, claims ISPR: Director General (DG) Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa on January 16 calimed that Security Forces have killed 2,000 militants in North Waziristan Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in the ongoing Operation Zarb-e-Azb. He also said that 200 soldiers had been killed during the operation, and 800 others had sustained injuries. He reiterated the army's resolve to ensure writ of the state in Bajaur and North Waziristan Agencies at all costs by wiping out militants. Tribune, January 17, 2015.

There is no reason to ban Jama'at-ud-Dawa, clarifies Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain: Pakistan cannot ban the Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) led by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed because it is a charitable and not terrorist organisation, said Pakistan's Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain on January 16. "We are looking to ban terror organisations but the JuD is a charitable organisation and the government of Pakistan has no evidence against Hafiz Saeed or the JuD," Hussain told HT over the phone from Islamabad. Hindustan Times, January 17, 2015.

New terror watch list catalogues 5,400 militants: The Government has put more than 5,400 suspected militants on a new terror watch list in a fresh move to swiftly execute a crackdown against sympathisers, financiers and facilitators of banned outfits across the country. As part of implementation on the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism, these suspected terrorists were included in the list under the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997, a legal tool that allows the Government to catalogue all those involved in terrorism. Tribune, January 17, 2015.

Target all militant groups including LeT, US Secretary of State John Kerry tells to Pakistan: Telling Pakistan to target all militant groups, US Secretary of State John Kerry on January 13 said terror outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Taliban and the Haqqani Network pose a threat to regional countries like India and the world. Addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Prime Minister's adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Kerry said the terror groups like the "Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other groups continue to pose a threat to Pakistan, to its neighbours and to the US." "We all have a responsibility to ensure that these extremists are no longer able to secure a foothold in this country or elsewhere. Make no mistake. The task is a difficult one and it is not done."Daily Excelsior, January 14, 2015.

Pakistan now has a native IS Ameer: A former 'commander' of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Hafiz Saeed Khan, has replaced an Afghan national, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, as the Ameer (chief) of the Khorasan Chapter of Islamic State (IS), led by Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi. The previous IS Ameer for the Khorasan chapter, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost, was a former Guantanamo prisoner, who had earlier spent several years in a Pakistani prison after being freed by the Americans. He had been appointed for an interim period to organise the Khorasan chapter of the IS which includes Pakistani, India, Afghanistan, Iran and some Central Asian territories. The News, January 13, 2015.

25 militants and nine SFs among 39 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least seven Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) militants were killed and several others injured in explosions at a terrorist centre in the Sipah area of Khyber Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 9.

Six militants were killed in an exchange of fire with Security Forces (SFs) in Dattakhel tehsil (revenue unit) of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) on January 9.

Four soldiers were killed and two others sustained injuries in a roadside blast when the soldiers were on a routine patrol in the Bashak area Orakzai Agency on January 9.

Four SF personnel were killed and two others injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion apparently targeting the vehicle of SFs in Lower Kurram Agency on January 8.

Twelve militants were killed in shelling by gunship helicopters of the Army while four terrorist hideouts were also destroyed in Mama Ziarat and Khadarkhel areas of Datta Khel tehsil in NWA on January 7.

Three bullet riddled bodies were found at a graveyard in Qandhari area of Safi tehsil in Mohmand Agency on January 6. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, January 6-12, 2015.

15 civilians and nine militants among 29 persons killed during the week in Sindh: Four al Qaeda terrorists, including a 'commander', were killed in alleged encounter with Police in the Qayyumabad area of Karachi, the provincial capital of Sindh.

Three suspected militants, identified as Gul Pir Khan, Noor Alam and Ameer Mohammad, were killed in a Police encounter led by Crime Investigation Department's (CID) Counter-Terrorism Unit on Northern Bypass, on the outskirts of Karachi on January 6. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, January 6-12, 2015.

Terror sanctuaries in Pakistan an issue of concern, says Pentagon: The Pentagon said on January 10 that the "sanctuary" that some of the militant groups enjoy in Pakistan has long been an issue of concern. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said that it was for Pakistan to continue the fight against terrorism in its own interest, and noted that like the Paris victims, Pakistanis have been victims of terror. Daily Times, January 12, 2015.

President signs military courts bills into law: President Mamnoon Hussain on January 7 signed into law the 21st Constitutional Amendment Bill of 2015 as well as the Pakistan Army Act 1952 Amendment. President signed into law the 21st onstitutional Amendment, making it applicable with immediate effect. The 21st Amendment to the constitution would provide constitutional cover to trial of offences relating to terrorism by military courts. The Senate on January 6 had approved the 21st Constitutional Amendment as well as the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2015.

Former President and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said on January 11 that the military courts would save the future of the coming generations from terrorism. Zardari said that the situation prevailing in the country demands political wisdom from all political parties of the country. Daily Times, January 8, 2015; Daily Times, January 12, 2015.

Violence took 7,655 lives in 2014, says survey: Pakistan faced a range of internal security issues in 2014, resulting in a wide range of violence, including terrorism, militant attacks, sectarian violence, crimes, target killings, security operations and drone strikes. Compared to 5,687 deaths in 2013, a total of 7,655 people died in 2014 as a direct result of violence, which is an average increase of about 35%, revealed a survey conducted by Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS). The most significant increase in violence was in observed in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), where fatalities more than doubled from 1,457 in 2013 to 3,399 in 2014. Daily Times, January 10, 2015.

Ulema for public execution of convicted militants: The Ulema and religious scholars from different schools of thought on January 9 underlined the need for public execution of convicted militants so that no one could dare to take lives of innocent people by carrying out subversive activities. They extended their complete support to the government initiatives taken to uproot extremism and terrorism from the country, saying that all religious sects were united against terrorism. Daily Times, January 10, 2015.

Security costs may force many schools to shut down: As the Government reviews security measures following winter vacations, owners of private schools said the costs associated with the arrangements could result in a large number of the institutes winding up for good. According to All Pakistan Private Schools Association, the total number of private schools in Peshawar is 2,027 of which 915 were checked and their security arrangements were declared satisfactory. Tribune, January 8, 2015.

Operation clean-up launched against banned outfits operating under new names, says Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan: The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on January 7 that a clean-up operation has been launched against those banned outfits that have started operating under new names, and all such groups are under strict watch of security agencies. Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that media should completely blackout coverage of terrorists, saying that they would "die their natural deaths" if not given any publicity. Daily Times, January 8, 2015.

Over 8,000 seminaries operate without affiliation: Over 8,000 seminaries have neither been registered with the Ittehad-e-Tanzeemat-e-Madaris Pakistan (ITMP), an umbrella of five schools of thought, nor with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, raising a serious question over their curriculum's legitimacy and their source of funding. Following the National Action Plan (NAP) committee's recommendations, officials associated with provinces' Auqaf departments are gathering data about madaris/makatib which have never been registered with the ITMP, Ministry Of Religious Affairs or with the Provincial Auqaf Departments. Tribune, January 7, 2015.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government offers PKR 10 million bounty for information leading to the arrest or death of TTP 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah and LI 'chief' Mangal Bagh: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government on January 5 announced a PKR 10 million reward for information leading to the arrest or death of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) 'chief' Mullah Fazlullah and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) 'chief' Mangal Bagh Afridi. The Provincial Government has prepared a list of 615 high-profile militants and proclaimed offenders and is offering a combined bounty of PKR 760 million, according to sources. The names of Fazlullah and Mangal Bagh feature on the list that includes high-profile militants and proclaimed offenders from 22 Districts of the Province and adjoining Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Tribune, January 6, 2015.

63 militants and four civilians among 68 persons killed during the week in FATA: At least 31 militants have been killed and scores of others injured as jet fighters targeted militants hideouts in Koki Khel area of Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on January 4.

A United States (US) drone strike at Wacha Basti village near Alwara Mandi in Dattakhel of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) killed eight militants and injured two others on January 4.

A bomb targeting Shias at a volleyball match killed at least four persons and injured eight at the Hussaini ground in the Kalaya area of Orakzai Agency on January 4.

At least 23 militants were killed when Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter jets on December 31 pounded suspected militant positions in the Shawal area of NWA. Daily Times; Dawn; The News; Tribune; Central Asia Online; The Nation; The Frontier Post; Pakistan Today;Pakistan Observer, December 30, 2014-January 5, 2015.

Operation against TTP, its supporters and sympathisers launched, says Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan: The Federal Minister of Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on January 3 that action had been launched against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), its supporters and sympathisers. Speaking at a press conference, he said it had been decided in the National Action Plan (NAP) that TTP operatives, their supporters, masterminds and financiers would be identified across the country. The Federal intelligence agencies would cooperate with provinces to accomplish the task, he added. Dawn, January 5, 2015.

Resurgence of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz poses security threat, warn Security Agencies: A report titled 'Activities of Maulana Abdul Aziz', forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Interior by the Security Agencies on January 4 warned the Government that due to his links with militant outfits and his anti-government rhetoric the resurgence of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Aziz poses security threat to the law and order situation in Islamabad. The report states that the "Lal Masjid mafia" has links with militant groups and land grabbers and is currently reorganising the Ghazi Force spawned by his own followers after the Lal Masjid operation in 2007. Dawn, January 5, 2015.

TTP-JuA 'spokesperson' Ehsanullah Ehsan's account emerges on social networking site LinkedIn: Ehsanullah Ehsan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan-Jama'at-ul-Ahrar (TTP-JuA) 'spokesperson', has been found using social networking site LinkedIn, listing his skills as "jihad and journalism". Ehsanullah Ehsan has 69 connections on LinkedIn, indicating a sizable network. Ehsan does not hide his associations and openly promotes himself on LinkedIn as 'spokesman' for TTP-JuA. Times of India,The Telegraph, January 5, 2015.

Three special courts set up in Punjab, KP and Balochistan: Three special courts were formed on January 1 in accordance with the Protection of Pakistan Act (PPA) to preside over cases relating to terrorism. Five special courts are to be formed in total. The three courts have been formed in Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Lahore (Punjab) and Quetta (Balochistan) in accordance with the PPA passed by parliament in order to curb rising militancy in the country. Judge Mukarrab Khan will head the special court in Lahore, Judge Zafar Khosa in Quetta and judge Anwar Ali Khan will preside over the court in Peshawar. Daily Times, January 2, 2015.

Consensus against terror not be lost to petty rifts, says CoAS General Raheel Sharif: The Chief of the Army Staff (CoAS), General Raheel Sharif, on January 1 said the political consensus against terrorism should not be lost to petty differences. He said the entire nation was looking towards the political and military leadership of the country to take bold and meaningful decisions leading to stern action against the terrorists and their sympathisers. He was addressing the 178th Corps Commanders Conference at the General Headquarters. The News, January 2, 2015.

Punjab is the training centre for terrorists, says ANP Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain: Awami National Party (ANP) Central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain on January 1 declared Punjab a training centre for terrorists and their masterminds and demanded that the Government begin a decisive action against terrorist outfits in the province. He was speaking at the 'Shuhada Amn Qaumi Conference' here at Nishtar Hall in Peshawar. Mian Iftikhar told participants that terrorism could not be eliminated from the country until an operation began against terrorist organisations in Punjab. Mian Iftikhar demands 'decisive action' against terrorist outfits in the province. Dawn, January 2, 2015.

824 persons killed and another 2,339 injured in bomb attacks across Pakistan in 2014, says report: At least 824 people were killed and 2,339 others injured in 372 bomb attacks, including 26 suicide bombings that occurred across Pakistan during 2014, according to official statistics. According to the data, the suicide attacks killed 249 people and left 582 wounded in different areas of the country last year. In 2014, the number of suicide attacks dropped by 34 percent from the year of 2013 when 39 suicide blasts took place. Daily Times, January 2, 2015.

600 NGOs licences being confirmed to curb terror funding: In order to implement the National Action Plan to root out the menace of terrorism, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has decided to re-validate the licences of hundreds of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to curb terrorist financing. "Yes, the SECP has decided to confirm the licences of over 600 NGOs registered under Section 42 of Companies Ordinance 1984," official sources in the Ministry of Finance confirmed to The News. The News, January 1, 2015.

2,841 terrorists, 327 security officials and 882 civilians killed in 2014: The year 2014 remained deadly for Pakistan with over 4070 casualties in terrorism related activities including killings of 2851 terrorists, 327 security personnel and 892 civilians as compared to the year 2013 which had seen 3268 deaths including 1448 civilians, 360 security officials and 1460 terrorists. Hence, the year also remained worst for the terrorists as a total 2841 terrorist were killed while in the year 2013 as many as 1460 terrorists were killed. According to the data compiled with the help from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) and Institute for Conflict Management (ICM), in addition to over 4070 killings as many as 2114 others were injured in terrorism incidences. Daily Times, January 1, 2015.

Pakistan most dangerous country for journalists in 2014, says International Federation of Journalists report: Pakistan has been the most dangerous country for journalists in the world, with 14 journalists killed in 2014, International Federation of Journalists report said. Syria was second on the list with 12 journalists killed throughout the year. Overall, the number of journalists who died in targeted killings, bomb attacks or shootings around the world rose to 118 in 2014 from 105 the year before, the press group said. Nine killings each occurred in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, the federation said. Tribune, January 1, 2015.

1,265 enforced disappearances cases still pending, says report: As many as 1,265 cases of missing persons are still pending with the Commission of Inquiry on Enforced Disappearance (CIED) as of December 31, 2014, says a report available with The Express Tribune. The commission - while submitting summary report on cases of alleged enforced disappearances to Interior Ministry and 12 other departments - has said it has disposed of 1,098 missing persons' cases from March 2011 to December 2014. Tribune, January 1, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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