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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan Army Offensive’

350,000 Displaced Following Pakistan Army Offensive

Posted by feww on June 22, 2014

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Pakistanis  fleeing North Waziristan amid army offensive against Taliban

At least 350,000 people have fled their homes since the start of an army offensive against Taliban militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan a week ago, officials say.

While most of them are internally displaced, many entering the nearest town of Banu, a large number of the refugees have fled into the eastern parts of Afghanistan, mostly arriving in the districts of Gurboz, Khost (Matun), Tanni, Nadir Shah Kot and Mando Zai in Khost province, according to UNHCR and other sources.

“The newly arrived women, men and children have trekked the mountainous terrains across Pakistan’s border to seek safety. People are being accommodated with local Afghan communities for now. However, Afghan hosting communities have limited absorption capacity and resources. The urgent needs include shelter, clean drinking water and sanitation,” said the UN refugee agency.

The military offensive began a week ago after a deadly attack on Karachi international airport, claimed jointly by an Uzbek militant group and the Pakistani Taliban.

More than 70,000 children aged 12 or younger are among the refugees, according to FIRE-EARTH Population Models.

“Many of them have never been vaccinated for highly-infectious diseases—like polio—because of a Taliban-imposed ban,” said a report.

North Waziristan has a population of about seven million, and 80% of them are still living in the area as the military strikes escalate, officials said.

Inside Pakistan, the government has confirmed that many of the people have been displaced internally from North Waziristan into the Banu, Dera Ismail Khan and Tank areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

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