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Violence on Pakistan Border Causes Thousands to Flee

Yesterday, al Qaeda released a video criticizing the Pakistani government for having no concern over the welfare of Muslims. This after Pakistani officials reported a successful attack, which repelled nearly fifty militants attempting to cross from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Skirmishes like these are increasing as both American and Pakistani troops begin a new offensive to root out both Taliban and al Qaeda troops who have found refuge along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

In this new outbreak of violence most of the victims are civilians. Twenty thousand of residents are fleeing into Eastern Pakistan after suicide attacks in the past 15 months have caused the deaths of nearly 1,200 people. A spokesperson for the UNHCR says, "In the last two weeks alone, over 600 Pakistani families have fled into Afghanistan. While the vast majority of them are living with their relatives and friends, there are already some 200 families who live in the open air." In the Northern Pakistan region of Bajur, it is now estimated that nearly half a million are now displaced.

Political violence has also risen in response to the Pakistani military siege last year of the Red Mosque, an attack that killed nearly 100 people. Since then there have been 88 suicide attacks, which have taken the lives of nearly 1,200 people, the vast amount, nearly 847, were civilians.


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