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Pakistan Army Ousts Afghan Refugees in Militants' Area

The Pakistani Army, backed by United States intelligence and surveillance, has stepped up its operations against supporters of Al Qaeda in the area near the Afghan border in recent weeks, displacing thousands of Afghan refugees. Some 200,000 Afghan refugees have been living in the remote border areas of Pakistan, in poor and insecure conditions. In the past few weeks, as the Pakistani operations in the tribal area of South Waziristan have risen in strength and, according to some reports, prompted a matching increase in militant resistance, 25,000 people have poured back into Afghanistan, refugee officials said. In the past five months, the Pakistani Army, at the behest of the United States, has pushed into the normally autonomous tribal areas, in an attempt to capture or kill an estimated 500 foreign fighters – many of them hardened Uzbek and Central Asian militants – and supporting tribesmen, and to search for Osama bin Laden and his Egyptian deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who are often rumored to be sheltering in the area.Full Story

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