22,000 Pakistanis flee fighting near Afghan border

KHAR, Pakistan— About 22,000 Pakistani villagers have fled military operations against Islamist militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, a government administrator and the army said Friday.
The offensive, involving aerial bombing, artillery and ground troops, began Jan. 27 in Mohmand, said Roshan Khan Mehsud, the region's government representative. He said nearly 100 insurgents had been killed so far, and there had been "some casualties" on the army side. He did not mention any civilian casualties.
Pakistan's military has carried out several military operation in the country's remote tribal regions bordering Afghanistan over the last three years. It has claimed to have made decisive gains against the insurgents, though many hundreds of thousands of residents have yet to return. Accounts of civilian casualties are numerous and militant attacks in Pakistan remain routine.
Mehsud said an estimated 22,000 people had been displaced by the Mohmand operations. They were living in a government building, schools and three camps away from the fighting. He said the United Nations was providing food, water and medical assistance to the people.