Rights group in Pakistan records drop in violence in 2015

A leading rights group says that deaths due to violence in Pakistan dropped 40 percent in 2015, but 4,612 people died that year in bombings and other attacks, as the government battles to contain a militant insurgency.

The report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was released just days after an Easter Sunday suicide bombing killed 70 people in a park in the city of Lahore, a reminder that despite improvements, rates of violence remain high in the country.

The report found that deaths due to sectarian violence declined to 272 last year, compared to 420 in 2014.

It recorded 706 militant attacks in Pakistan last year, the lowest number since 2008. An army operation in Pakistan's North Waziristan has significantly damaged militant networks.