250,000 flee Waziristan ahead of freshly launched offensive: UNHCR

      The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said over 250,000 people have fled South Waziristan in the wake of the military offensive against the Taliban, that was finally launched this morning. According to the UNHCR, over 80,000 displaced people from South Waziristan had been registered by local authorities in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank areas of the NWFP by September. “While some of the movement from South Waziristan may be seasonal migration, most families say they are fleeing expected bombardments,” The Dawn quoted UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic, as saying. “If full-scale military operations are launched, the numbers of displaced people are likely to rise significantly,” he added. According to the report, local authorities have begun registering new arrivals, with more than 800 families registered over the past three days. Earlier this year, more than two million Pakistanis were displaced by a military offensive between the Pakistan Army and the Taliban insurgents in the NWFP.

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