PESHAWAR/ PARACHINAR: As the operation in the central Kurram Agency intensifies, 6,804 families have been forced to vacate their houses and move to safe localities near New Durrani Camp, Kohat.
The families are being registered as internally displaced persons (IDP) at the camp. Of the total, 649 families have taken refuge in the camp while the rest are living elsewhere, according to the FATA Disaster Management Authority (FDMA). The administration stated they were told only 6,000 families would come but the number has increased.
“We started registration on May 18, however, the numbers are expected to reach 9,000,” FDMA Information and Communication Assistant Director Irfanullah, told The Express Tribune. The camp has the capacity to accommodate the families but most of them chose to live with their relatives, Irfanullah added.
Irfanullah said they are providing families with tents, mosquito nets, food, non-perishable items and hygiene kits. Families living off-camp are also getting the same package with the exception of the tents. The World Food Program was helping them with relief goods, explained the assistant director.
FDMA has made arrangements for potable water and toilets inside the camp while UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) clusters are also at hand to ensure the IDPs are not faced with any problems. Irfanullah added most families which came to Durrani camp belong to Para Chamkani, central Kurram Agency.
“Around 1,000 families displaced from Khyber Agency are also residing in the same camp. Many families of Kurram Agency have returned home, to areas where the situation has revereted back to normal” shared Irfanullah. Both IDPs from Khyber and Kurram Agency are receiving the same relief goods.
The operation against militants in central Kurram was launched on May 8 after forces were informed militants had captured Gondal, Tabay, Malo Pattai, Darya Sarpakh, Goganay, Aroza, Makhranai Godar, Samo and Muhammad in Para Chamkani. Around 12,000 families were forced to flee and move to the lower parts of the agency, Kohat and Hangu districts.
A government contractor and three others were kidnapped by unidentified militants in central Kurram Agency on Friday.
An official of the political administration said contractor Rafiullah Khattak and the other three men had come to Chinrak for work. The militants intercepted Khattak’s vehicle and took the four men at gunpoint.
An operation has been launched in the area to recover the missing men, added the official.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2013.
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