Pakistan's military has warned residents of North Waziristan that they have until the end of June 23 to leave the mountainous tribal region before a major ground assault against Islamist militants.
At least 430,000 people already have fled to nearby parts of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan in one of Pakistan’s biggest displacements of civilians in years.
Air strikes were being carried out against suspected militant hideouts in North Waziristan for weeks before the military announced on June 15 that an offensive was under way.
Militants responded to those air strikes by launching a brazen raid on Karachi’s international airport on June 8 in which dozens were killed.
Although Pakistan’s Army has used artillery in its North Waziristan operations, a full-scale assault by ground troops has yet to be launched into remote areas controlled by the Taliban and by Islamist militants from Central Asia.
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal