Pakistani Officials: 46 Killed in Orakzai Offensive

Civilians Ordered Out Amid Promises of "Major Offensive" Yet to Come

In the first four days of the Pakistani military offensive in the Orakzai Agency, at least 46 militants have been killed and 26 others wounded. Civilians have also been killed but so far there has been no indication as to civilian casualty numbers.

Just yesterday, it was reported that the Pakistani military had been distributing leaflets to area residents, ordering them to leave the area before Friday, when “a major offensive against the Taliban will be launched.” Reports have the residents fleeing in vans, on tractors and carts. The Pakistani military has been attacking the Orakzai Agency for months, citing concerns over “Talibanisation.”

But where they’ll end up is far from clear… Orakzai officials say that the provincial government has declined so far to make any accommodations for the displaced, and that the national government has allocated no funds to help them.

This is nothing new for residents of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, who have been regularly displaced by Pakistani military offensives and left in deplorable conditions in internal refugee camps. A similar military operation in the Bajaur Agency last year killed over 1,500 civilians, and drove two-thirds of the agency’s 600,000 residents from their homes.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.