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Families started their return to Waziristan

indexPESHAWAR: A UN official said Sunday that, A first convoy of Pakistani families have returned to South Waziristan with UN and government help to rebuild their lives after major fighting against the Taliban.

UN refugee agency (UNHCR) spokeswoman Dunya Aslam Khan told AFP that 41 families returned home on Saturday with the help of the UN and Pakistan’s disaster management authority for the tribal belt.The process is expected to see 8,000 families go to more than 10 villages in South Waziristan, part of the tribal areas that Washington has branded a global headquarters of al Qaeda and the most dangerous place on Earth.

The Pakistani military last year carried out a sweeping offensive into parts of South Waziristan in order to disable the headquarters of the country’s main Taliban faction, following an increase in militant bomb attacks in late 2009.

Many of the Taliban commanders and their footsoldiers are believed to have fled into the neighbouring district of North Waziristan, where Pakistan has so far resisted American pressure for a similar offensive, and into Orakzai.An estimated 364,028 people are thought to have fled South Waziristan for districts under government control that neighbour Pakistan’s tribal belt.

“UNHCR is providing transport, shelter and non-food assistance to the returning families. The process has started at Dera Ismail Khan and Tank to ensure that the return is voluntary,” said Khan.

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