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1,500 killed in Pakistan floods

world Updated: Aug 02, 2010 18:40 IST

IANS
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At least 1,500 people have been killed and infrastructure has been wiped out in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province that has been hit by floods and rainstorms, triggering the worst deluge in the region in eight decades.

Pakistani relief agency Edhi Foundation claimed the toll might double in the coming days.

"At least 500 people are wounded and another 900 are missing. God forbid but I think that in coming days the death toll might reach 3,000," said Bilqis Edhi of the Edhi Foundation.

Haider Khan Hoti, chief minister of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, said the infrastructure of the province has been collapsed due to the disaster.

"All the major roads, bridges have been destroyed and so are the police stations, administration buildings, telephone exchange. Thousands of houses have been razed to the ground by the storm and at least one million people have been homeless," Hoti told reporters during his visit to Nowshera.

American forces stationed in neighbouring Afghanistan also rushed in for help along with helicopters, boats and bridges and supported the Pakistani Army in its rescue efforts.

Meanwhile, the involvement of Pakistan Army in the rescue efforts has raised security concerns in the Taliban-dominated Orazkai Agency and the Khyber Agency.

"This will give space to the militants, who were planning for a comeback in Pakistani urban centres," a Pakistani counter-terrorism official said.

"Militant commander Mullah Fazlullah had announced a Taliban rebound plan in the Swat valley through a video message and now the whole area is inundated with storms, limiting the movement of the military and wiping out all the infrastructure," the official said.