Panic grips Pakistan's Buner as fighting intensifies
Al Jazeera: More than 300,000 people have fled the area as troops battle Taliban fighters - May 8, 2009
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Until a few weeks ago no one outside Pakistan had heard of Buner in the North West Frontier Province but that's all changed now. More than 300,000 people have fled the area as troops battle Taliban fighters.
PEOPLE FLEE PAKISTAN FIGHTINGMILITARY AND TALIBAN CLASHES CONTINUEREPORTER (VOICEOVER): A Pakistani army tank destroyed, other vehicles abandoned, reveal the intensity and the ferocity of the fighting in Buner. More than 300,000 people have fled the area as Pakistan's armed forces engage the Taliban. A military curfew is briefly lifted, and people scramble to find food for their familiespotatoes and whatever else they can get. On the road they move, struggling with what they can carry. Tractor-trailers that a week ago carried hay, now jumbled and packed with young and old, many still showing shock at what they have witnessed and what they have lost. Seventy-five percent of Buner's people are on the move, refugees in their own country.STREETER (VOICEOVER TRANSLATION): Do the Taliban have tanks or planes? All you need is small arms if you want to fight them. At least the people will be safe from shells and bombs.STREETER (VOICEOVER TRANSLATION): The government has no plans to deal with the crisis. Our elders of the tribes and our Taliban brothers should save Buner from war.REPORTER: The Army says it now controls the high ground and perhaps 50 percent of Buner. The rest remains in the hands of the Taliban. For the people of Buner, this narrow valley that was once a place of peace and quiet has now become a place of war and horror. Kamal Hyder, Al Jazeera, Peshawar.DISCLAIMER:Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
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