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October 28, 2009

Conflict in Pakistan

After recent Pakistani military operations in Pakistan's own Swat Valley to push out Taliban insurgents who had taken control of the region, its operations are now more focused on the Taliban strongholds in the South Waziristan region. Pakistani troops and Taliban militants have been locked in intense clashes recently in the tribal area which has killed more than 150 people. Relief workers say that more than 120,000 people have been displaced by the fighting. Insurgent responses to the increased military pressure have included numerous bombings and suicide attacks, killing and injuring scores across Pakistan in recent weeks. Just today a car bomb in a busy marketplace in Peshawar killed more than 93 people, as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an official visit - announcing the latest in a series of U.S. aid packages to Pakistan. (36 photos total)

A man stands near the scene of an explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday Oct. 28, 2009. A car bomb has torn through a busy marketplace in northwestern Pakistan, collapsing several buildings, setting fires and killing at least 93 people including 60 women and children, mere hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in the country on an official visit. (AP Photo/Mohammad Iqbal)

Fire fighters extinguish fire at the site of a car bomb explosion in Peshawar located in Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province October 28, 2009. (REUTERS/K.Parvez) #

Pakistani volunteers rush an injured child to a hospital after an explosion from a car bomb in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday Oct. 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

People make way for ambulance to collect injured people at the site of a car bomb explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday Oct. 28, 2009. Over 93 people have been killed, 200 injured in the blast. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A worker carries a box of cooking oil to distribute to internally displaced persons at a distribution point in Dera Ismail Khan, in Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province, October 27, 2009. Pakistan forces killed 19 militants in an intense clash in South Waziristan on Monday while insurgents aiming to divert the army's attention launched a raid in another northwestern region, officials said. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

A man, fleeing a military offensive in South Waziristan, carries handout materials from an aid distribution point for internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Dera Sports Stadium in Dera Ismail Khan, located in Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province, October 26, 2009. About 150,000 people have fled their homes in South Waziristan but aid officials do not expect the exodus to become a humanitarian crisis, as did a similar offensive in the Swat valley this year. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

A Pakistani truck driver enters a distribution point carrying relief supplies for internally displaced civilians, fleeing from military operations against Taliban militants in South Waziristan, in Dera Ismail Khan on October 24, 2009. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A young girl and her dog look out from a vehicle as she and her family wait for security clearance at a checkpoint on the outskirt of Bannu, a town on edge of the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 as they flee a military offensive in South Waziristan. (AP Photo/Ijaz Muhammad) #

Displaced Pakistani tribesmen, escaping from South Waziristan due to military offensive, wait to get food stuff at a distribution center in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) #

Policemen stand guard near the site of a suicide bomb attack at the entrance of the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra, about 75 km (45 miles) northwest of the capital Islamabad October 23, 2009. A suspected Taliban suicide bomber killed six people outside Pakistan's main airforce maintenance facility on Friday as troops pressed ahead with an offensive against insurgents in the northwest, officials said. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif) #

Pakistan army soldiers board into a vehicle as they leave after attending funeral prayer of their comrade Nadeem Moeen-ud-Din, who was killed in the Saturday's helicopter crashed, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009 in Karachi, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) #

In this photo taken on Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, members of a Pakistani private tribal militia, known locally as a Lashkar, chant slogans to vow to fight against militants at a rally in Khar, the main town of Pakistani tribal region Bajur. Local militia members are encouraged by Pakistani security forces to fight against the militants in the violence ridden region of northwestern along Afghan border. (AP Photo/Anwarullah Khan) #

Young Pakistanis light candles around peace signs during a demonstration against terrorism, demanding peace in the country, Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009 in Islamabad, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) #

A relative holds a photo of deceased soldier Asif Ali during his funeral ceremony in Karachi, Pakistan on October 27, 2009. Lance Naik Asif Ali was killed on Sunday during military operation in South Waziristan, military officials said. (REUTERS/Athar Hussain) #

A police officer stands guard at a checkpoint in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, Oct. 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

Children play a traditional game called Kabaddi, at an Afghan colony in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

A policeman beats men for jumping a queue while waiting with hundreds of others at a food distribution point for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Dera Ismail Khan, in Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province, October 27, 2009. The men had fled a military offensive in South Waziristan. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

Supporters of the Pakistani religious party ANI participate in a protest against the recently signed Kerry-Lugar bill in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009. President Barack Obama signed into law a US$7.5 billion aid package for Pakistan that the Pakistan's military criticized as American meddling in its internal affairs. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) #

Soldiers take their positions outside the main gate of the Pakistan army headquarters after an attack by armed men in Rawalpindi, on the outskirts of Islamabad, October 10, 2009. Suspected militants dressed in army uniforms attacked Pakistan's army headquarters on Saturday, killing four guards and triggering a battle in which four gunmen were killed, military officials said. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

A police officer examines the bullet-riddled and blood-spattered windshield of a private car near the site where a military jeep was attacked by gunmen in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009. Suspected militants on a motorbike shot and killed a soldier and a senior army officer in the Pakistani capital Thursday. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) #

Police officers question an imam (second from left), in front of a mosque during a search operation near the site where an army jeep was attacked by gunmen in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

In this image taken on Oct. 4, 2009, Pakistan's new Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, center, operates light machine gun with his comrades in Sararogha in Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border. (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud) #

Children prepare to sing the Pakistani National Anthem prior to the start of classes in a school in Qutbal, Pakistan on October 13, 2009. Educational institutions were shut in Pakistan on Wednesday Oct. 21, 2009, after suspected militants bombed a university close to the capital, sowing fear across the country as the army presses on with a major anti-Taliban offensive. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

Chinese students enter a vehicle at the Islamic University in Islamabad, as they head back to China after quitting their studies in Pakistan on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

A member of a bomb disposal team collects fragments with a magnet from the site of a bomb blast at the International Islamic University in Islamabad October 20, 2009. Taliban militants attacked Pakistani forces and recaptured a strategic town on Tuesday while two suicide bomb blasts at an Islamic university in the capital killed six people and wounded at least 20, officials said. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif) #

A police officer stands at a site of suicide bombing in Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. Two suicide attackers bombed a women's cafeteria and a faculty building at an Islamic university in the Pakistani capital Tuesday, authorities said. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) #

Policemen stand guard near two of four detained men covered in hoods at the Sindh High Court Karachi October 20, 2009. Pakistani police raided a Taliban militant umbrella group hideout, arresting four of its members, including a leader, with weapons and ammunition, police said on October 19. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

Zaman Khan, who fled a military offensive against Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan, waits to be photographed after arriving at a registration point for internally displaced persons in Dera Ismail Khan, in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, October 18, 2009. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

Residents fleeing a military offensive against the Pakistani Taliban enter Dera Ismail Khan from South Waziristan October 19, 2009. (REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood) #

Azmatullah, an internally displaced boy from South Waziristan, waits outside a registration point in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan on October 24, 2009. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

A worker sorts out water pots for distribution to Internally displaced people at a distribution point at Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan on October 26, 2009. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

People help victims of a suicide attack in Peshawar, Pakistan on Friday, Oct. 16, 2009. A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at a mosque next to a police station in the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Friday, killing more than 10 people. (AP Photo/Mohammad Iqbal) #

A Pakistani bomb disposal squad member removes an explosive suicide jacket from the body of an attacker at the premises of Federal Investigation Agency after gunmen attacked in Lahore on October 15, 2009. Five people including three police officers were killed in the attack on October 15 at the police building in the eastern city of Lahore, a police official said. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images) #

In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009, a man reacts to the camera as he is escorted to a courtroom at the Mingora courthouse in Swat Valley, Pakistan. Three months after the army pushed back the Taliban from most of the valley, courts are back in session, a sign of progress in the scenic region following what the West has held up as a successful military campaign. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini) #

A policeman gestures at displaced men from South Waziristan, as they await handouts at an aid distribution point in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan on October 28, 2009. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) #

Pakistani musician Mohammad Akbar sits in a queue to register with authorities in Dera Ismail Khan, as he flees from military operations against Taliban militants in South Waziristan on October 20, 2009. Akbar says he prays every day for the Pakistan army to crush the Taliban so he can make sweet music once more without fearing for his life. The 39-year-old was speaking in the dusty town of Dera Ismail Khan where he fled with his wife and seven children to escape a major offensive by the army against the Tehreek-e-Taliban in neighbouring South Waziristan. (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images) #

 
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