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India-Pakistan
Thousands leave South Waziristan before new battle
2009-06-23
More than 45,000 people are leaving their homes even before the start of a military offensive in South Waziristan, and are heading for communities already stretched to the limit in terms of resources, officials said on Monday.

Col Waseem Ahmed, spokesman for a Pakistani government unit overseeing humanitarian affairs, said he expected the number to rise to at least 60,000. About 37,000 people had already left their homes in South Waziristan, said Manuel Bessler, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, citing military figures.

Bessler said Pakistan presented a unique problem for humanitarian officials because 80 percent of the displaced were not in UN camps, but were staying with family and friends in 'host' communities.
Posted by:Fred

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