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30,000 flee Pakistan offensive against Taleban after curfew eased

Published on Jun 18, 2014 11:54 PM

BANNU, Pakistan (AFP) - Around 30,000 people fled a major military offensive against the Taleban in a Pakistani tribal area on Wednesday, after authorities eased a curfew in a sign the campaign is likely to intensify.

The military has deployed troops, tanks and jets in North Waziristan on the border with Afghanistan, in a long-awaited crackdown on the Taleban and other militants in the tribal area.

Adding to the pressure on the insurgents, two US drone strikes hit compounds in the area early on Wednesday.

The military eased a curfew in parts of North Waziristan to let civilians leave, indicating a new and more intense phase of the anti-militant drive in which ground forces will play a greater role.

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