Over 300,000 flee Pakistan’s tribal areas: Official

Over 300,000 flee Pakistan’s tribal areas: Official

Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:6PM GMT

The number of people who have escaped Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan has increased to more than 300,000 amid an army operation against pro-Taliban militants in the region, a government official says.

Arbab Muhammad Arif, who heads the administration of seven tribal Pakistani regions along the Afghan border, said on Saturday that over 25,000 Pakistani families have registered at checkpoints in the country’s northwestern region since June 18.

Arif further pointed out that the displaced people were provided with food and cash.

Moreover, the Pakistani official noted that his administration is expecting another 100,000 tribesmen and their families to leave the country’s troubled areas.

The Pakistani army began an offensive against militant hideouts in the volatile North Waziristan tribal region on June 15. Security officials say nearly 280 militants have been killed since the start of an operation last week in the region, which is also targeted by US drone strikes.

The operation came following a raid by the pro-Taliban militants on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport on June 8, in which 37 people were killed. On June 9, the militants also carried out another attack on a training center outside the airport in Karachi.

Pro-Taliban militants have carried out numerous attacks against security forces as well as civilians and managed to spread their influence in various regions of the country, despite sporadic offensives by the Pakistani army.

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered an alliance with the United States in the so-called war on terror

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