Islamabad: Security forces on Saturday launched an
operation against militants in the restive Khyber tribal
region of northwest Pakistan after directing people to vacate
their homes following a string of attacks on troops.
The operation was launched early this morning in
Landikas, Nala and Malakdin Khel areas of Khyber Agency.
Contingents of security personnel occupied hill tops and
other strategic locations before starting the offensive, media
Residents of these areas were asked yesterday to move out
to other places.
Around 300 families left the region and 120 of them took
shelter at a relief camp in Jalozai, according to the disaster
management authority of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Local residents said they had seen troops moving into the
region with tanks and artillery.
People continued to flee Bara sub-division of Khyber
Agency today as troops geared up to flush out militants from
There was no official word from the military on the
Authorities have asked the World Food Program, UN High
Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF to provide aid for the
The operation was launched after militants killed 12
security personnel, including a captain, in attacks over the
Authorities made announcements on radio stations and
through loudspeakers in mosques yesterday, asking people to
vacate their houses.
Muhammad Omar, a spokesman for the banned Lashkar-e--
Islam, told reporters that militants had occupied some of the
houses vacated by local residents.
"We will fight with full force if security forces enter
Mandikas and Nala areas," Omar said.