The United Nations refugee agency says it will airlift 120 tons of
humanitarian supplies to help Pakistanis fleeing a military offensive
against the Taliban.
The agency's chief, Antonio Guterres, said Monday that the "speed and scale" of the displacement of people in northwestern Pakistan requires an immediate international humanitarian response.
The airlift will include $584,000 worth of plastic sheets, portable warehouses and mosquito nets. The United States also announced Monday that it is providing $4.9 million in emergency aid to displaced families.
The U.N. refugee agency says more than 360,000 people have registered with authorities after escaping the latest fighting.
Pakistan's army launched its air and ground offensive against Taliban positions in the northwest Malakand region last week after a peace pact broke down. Heavy fighting also continues across the Swat Valley.
The newest refugees are joining about 500,000 other people who have been displaced by violence in other northwestern areas in the past year.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced Monday that at least 700 militants were killed in operations around the northwestern Swat Valley in recent days. The death toll could not be independently verified.
As the military pushed forward Monday, a suicide bomber killed 10 people at a security checkpoint in North West Frontier Province. No one claimed responsibility for the blast.
In related news, the U.S.-based New York Times newspaper published a report Monday saying that al-Qaida is taking advantage of Pakistan's turmoil to strengthen its presence there. The article quotes unnamed U.S. and Pakistani intelligence officials who say al-Qaida is recruiting young fighters from across the region and the Middle East, and bolstering other Islamist militant groups.