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Pakistan villagers flee military offensive, harsh militant rule
Pakistan villagers flee military offensive, harsh militant rule

For the tribespeople of North Waziristan, fleeing their homes amid a Pakistani military offensive was in many ways like escaping a torture cell. Islamist militants had roamed through neighborhoods with impunity, villagers said. They collected taxes, controlled the streets and routinely detained and abused anyone they suspected of espionage, with no interference by Pakistani security forces stationed nearby. “Virtually the entire government’s administrative system had collapsed,” said one man who fled to the town of Bannu. Like many displaced residents, he declined to give his name for fear of reprisals. Since June 18, the Pakistani military has bombarded the North...

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