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Iran Press TV

Over 500k displaced in Pakistan due to army ops: UN

Iran Press TV

Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:9PM GMT

Over half a million people in Pakistan have been displaced due to recent military operations against pro-Taliban militants in the country's North Waziristan region.

The displaced people include more than 11,000 families with many escaping to neighboring cities like Bannu, and tens of thousands of people crossing over to Afghanistan's border provinces, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Thursday.

"The displacement began in mid-June and until now, some 11,100 families have entered Afghan provinces of Khost and Paktika…. [A total of] 9,100 families have been settled in Khost Province and 2,000 others are living in Paktika," said Bo Schack, head of the UNHCR office in Afghanistan.

Aid groups have condemned the Pakistani government for failing to set up appropriate infrastructure and provide relief for displaced groups, despite support coming in from the World Food Program, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Meanwhile, Pakistani soldiers have fired live rounds to disperse angry crowds of displaced Pakistanis complaining about lack of food and shelter.

The displaced people also said they have been prevented from moving to other areas of Pakistan.

Independent sources fear that the ongoing influx of people to other areas would bring the internally-displaced tribal population to a little less than one million.

This is while, on Thursday, the Pakistani military shelled the strategic town of Miranshah in its latest offensive against pro-Taliban militants in the country's restive tribal areas.

Officials said a full ground assault is now imminent.

The Pakistani army began the offensive against militant hideouts in the volatile tribal region on June 15. 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.


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