[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/08/pakistan.swat.taliban.fighting/art.civilians.flee.afp.gi.jpg caption="Tens of thousands of Pakistani civilians have been forced to abandon their homes in the past few days."]
The United Nations' refugee agency warned Friday of a "massive displacement" of civilians as Pakistan's military broadens its offensive against Taliban militants in the country's troubled northwest.
In the last few days, an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Pakistanis have fled to North West Frontier Province, just south of the military operation, according to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Ron Redmond, citing provincial government data.
Another 300,000 Pakistanis are on the move or expected to flee the fighting, he said Friday.
The massive displacement is a result of "more widespread" fighting between Pakistani forces and Taliban militants as well as people taking "advantage of the partial lifting of curfews to move into safer areas," according to a UNHCR news release.
Those fleeing the recent fighting are in addition to 555,000 previously displaced civilians who have fled their homes in Pakistan's tribal region and North West Frontier Province since August, according to the U.N. agency.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with