SITUATION: A full-fledged military operation in North Waziristan (Pakistan) has greatly intensified following recent Taliban attacks on the Karachi International Airport. Suicide bombings that began in December 2013 in the region helped precipitate a spiral of violence and counter-violence, causing displacement of more than 23,000 persons earlier this year.
In response to these continuous attacks on government assets and army personnel, the military operation, named Zarb-e-Azb, has been launched. Up to 30,000 troops will be involved in the operation, officials said.
The government says the Taliban are disrupting and paralyzing life in the region; air strikes by Pakistani jets have reportedly killed more than 50 foreign militants, mostly Uzbeks, in North Waziristan. Strikes took place in the Boya tehsil, Degan forests, and Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan.
Some 37,148 individuals are now displaced, moving to other districts in Pakistan or to neighboring Afghanistan. Many more are expected to join the current migration.
As well, the military operations in Waziristan are increasing the military presence in the capital of Islamabad, where one of CWS’s offices and a number of team members are located.
CWS RESPONSE: CWS is in contact with the local partners and concerned authorities. The CWS emergency response team is on standby and ready to start its relief activities as needed.
HOW TO HELP: Financial contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or sent to your denomination/communion or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.