World Bulletin/News Desk
Over 1.5 million internally displaced persons from Pakistan's northwestern tribal region will start returning home in February, said a high ranking army official.
The much-awaited announcement was made by army chief General Raheel Sharif after a meeting with provincial government officials in Peshawar, the capital of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province on Sunday.
Currently, over 1.5 million of the displaced - one million from North Waziristan and 500,000 from Khyber Agency tribal areas - have been residing in shelter camps and other places in adjoining districts for the last several months.
The displacement was the result of two successive military operations launched in North Waziristan on June 15 and in Khyber Agency on October 15 to oust Taliban militants.
The army is however still facing tough resistance in some parts of both regions.
Sharif said the army would fully cooperate with the political administration for the safe return and the resettlement of internally displaced people.
The army has claimed killing over 2000 militants in airstrikes and clashes since June 15 while 200 troops have been killed in landmine blasts and clashes with Taliban militants.
Blast during football game kills 5
At least five people were killed, including three children, and eight others were injured in a bomb blast during a football match in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday evening, officials said.
The bomb exploded in the middle of spectators during a football match between two local teams in Orakzai Agency tribal areas, eyewitnesses said.
The bomb reportedly went off in the second half of the match.
Officials said the explosive material was planted in an oil cane and was detonated by remote control.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the blast.
Orakzai Agency is one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal areas in Pakistan where Taliban militants remain active.Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2015, 21:46