A United Nations official says his organization is ready to help some
two million Pakistanis get back home after being chased away by
fighting in the Swat Valley region.
But the Under Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, John Holmes, expressed concern about security as he spoke to reporters in Islamabad on Friday. He said the U.N. has been working with Pakistani authorities to make sure people are not forced home before it is safe.
In the latest violence in northwestern Pakistan, the government says militants killed four police officers. An official says the deaths came late Thursday during an attack on a security checkpoint near the town of Khar in the Bajaur tribal area. Pakistan's military claimed Bajaur had been cleared of militants in February.
In neighboring Swat Valley, the Pakistani military launched an offensive two months ago against Taliban militants. Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani says the area is secure, and basic services have been restored.
However, local reports say Taliban militants are still active in the area and continue to intimidate locals.