More than 1,000 families flee Pakistan fighting

Published: July 4, 2011
Pakistani artillery and fighter jets have launched a fresh operation to evict militants from the Kurram area. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

Pakistani artillery and fighter jets have launched a fresh operation to evict militants from the Kurram area. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

ISLAMABAD: More than 1,000 Pakistani families have fled fresh fighting between the military and militants in the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border, local officials said Monday.

Pakistani artillery and fighter jets on Monday launched what an army spokesman described as a fresh operation to evict militants from the Kurram area and open up the road connecting the upper and lower parts of the district.

“More than 1,000 families have been displaced from the area during the last week,” said Arshad Khan, head of the disaster management authority in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

“We expect around 4,000 more by tomorrow, and estimate that 8,000 to 12,000 families could be displaced due to this military action,” he told AFP.

Pakistan has been under huge American pressure to do more to destroy militant sanctuaries since US Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani military town of Abbottabad on May 2.

However the military has so far resisted huge US pressure to open up another front in North Waziristan, considered the premier bastion of militancy and the headquarters of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network.

Khan said that of those displaced from Kurram, about 250 families had gone to a camp while the rest were seeking shelter with relatives.

Another official working with the government in the area said that 600 families had been registered after leaving Kurram.

“We have arranged food and non-food items for them,” local administration chief Sahibzada Muhammad Anees told AFP.

Pakistani troops have been fighting homegrown militants for years, displacing hundreds of thousands of people.

Some 22,000 Pakistani civilians fled a military push against the Taliban in the lawless tribal area of Mohmand last February.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Jul 4, 2011 - 7:54PM

    These are not militants! these are brave mujahids fighting foreign invaders and sellout Pakistan government! – Imran Khan, JI, JUI-FRecommend

  • faraz
    Jul 4, 2011 - 8:26PM

    Militancy in Kurram is purely sectarian terrorism; the 4 year old seige of Parachinar must be liftedRecommend

  • Cautious
    Jul 4, 2011 - 8:56PM

    OK — what makes these militants “bad guys” and other militants “good guys”? Is it that they won’t pay bribes to the Pakistani authorities? or maybe they won’t cut a nefarious deal where they will only slaughter your neighbors and allies? Be nice if someone wrote an article listing all the various militant groups and whether they are considered good/bad and why.Recommend

  • Someone
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Just another reason why this war is totally useless and counter productiveRecommend

  • John Bijou
    Jul 4, 2011 - 9:40PM

    These are US occupied Zio-Nazi Karzo-Nazi militants destroying Pakistan. We goyim will prevail ….we have to ! Recommend

  • DA
    Jul 5, 2011 - 3:52AM

    What a mess Pakistan has got itself into! Missing seasoned mature wisdom among leaders to solve the country’s isuues!Recommend

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