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Showing posts from November 25, 2008

Pakistan's war on Taliban swells refugee camps

Pakistan's war on Taliban swells refugee camps
Pakistan - Muhammad Khan is not sure who fired the mortar shell that nearly cost him his right arm.
But when he regained consciousness, the elderly farmer from the village of Badano knew that clashes between the Pakistani military and local Taliban militants had degenerated into a full-blown war, and it was time to leave.

"The Taliban was making trouble for us. Then the military helicopters and bombs came, exploding throughout the day," he said, showing his injured arm and a neighbor's crude stitch-work that saved the limb. "We were suffering from all sides."

Some 200,000 Pashtun tribal members have fled their homes in the past three months during an army offensive to expel Taliban and al Qaeda fighters in Bajur, a largely lawless area that borders Afghanistan and is rumored to be the hiding place of al Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

Droves of displaced people are flocking to relief camps outside tribal areas for f…