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Asia-pacific

Around 30,000 displaced because of military offensive

Latest update : 2009-05-01

The military offensive launched by Pakistan against Taliban militants near the north-western region of the country has displaced around 30,000 persons in Lower Dir district, according to local authorities.

AFP - Around 30,000 people in northwest Pakistan have been displaced by a military offensive to flush out Taliban militants, a provincial minister said Tuesday.
  
"Up to 30,000 people have left Maidan in Lower Dir district over the past few days," Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister in the government of North West Frontier Province, told a news conference.
  
"We are making arrangements for them in Peshawar, Nowshera and Timargarah districts."
  
Residents said thousands of terrified people, mostly women and children, left the area with their belongings after Pakistan troops and helicopter gunships launched the operation over the weekend.
  
One local charity said it had registered 2,241 displaced families so far.
  
Around 50 insurgents were killed in the operation in Lower Dir, near the Taliban-held Swat valley, officials said.
  
The military said eight paramilitary soldiers had also been killed since it launched Operation Black Thunder on Sunday.
  
Heavy artillery shelling by the paramilitary Frontier Corps troops continued in the Maidan area of Lower Dir overnight, a senior military officer said Tuesday.
  
"We destroyed several militants hideouts in heavy artillery shelling of suspected bases in the area," the officer told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Date created : 2009-04-28

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