Residents flee Pakistan’s border region ahead of offensive

Streams of civilians jammed into cars and trucks to flee South Waziristan as Pakistan’s air force pounded the area with air-strikes ahead of an expected ground offensive against the Taliban. On Oct. 15, a suspected US missile strike hit neighboring North Waziristan, killing four alleged militants, Pakistani officials said. Since the weekend, some 80 vehicles a day have carried fleeing families past one checkpoint at Chonda on the edge of Dera Ismail Khan, said a local police official. (AP, Oct. 15)

Teams of gunmen, several disguised as police officers and wearing suicide vests, attacked three police facilities across Lahore early Oct. 15, leaving 28 people dead, 19 of them police. Two of the targets, a police training center and the provincial headquarters of the Federal Investigation Agency, had already been attacked in the past 18 months.

Violence also rocked North-West Frontier Province, where a suicide bomber in Kohat destroyed a police station, killing 11 people, and a smaller bomb in Peshawar wounded five. (The Guardian, Oct. 15)

On Oct. 12, a suicide bomber killed up to 41 people near a busy market in Alpuri, Shangla district, NWFP. A military official said the bomb exploded near a military vehicle and four members of the security forces were among the dead, but that the majority of the victims were civilian. (RTE, Oct. 12)

See our last post on Pakistan.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.