Some 28,000 Pakistani troops backed by artillery and air support are battling with Taliban insurgents, as the army attempts to take control of militant strongholds in South Waziristan.
More than 100,000 civilians have fled the fighting, with the authorities expecting the numbers to double. “The fighting is going on there. The houses are being bombarded, so are the mosques and madrassas, everything. So we really don’t have any choice, we have to get out to find somewhere safe,” said one man fleeing the conflict. The Pakistani military claim its forces have surrounded the militants and are attacking on three fronts. However, many believe the assault is just a starter, with the real fighting expected when the army reaches the sparse areas of forest that litter the arid mountains. The US is keeping a close eye on the situation and hoping the Taliban in Afghanistan stay out of the fray.