'40,000 civilians still in Pak's volatile Swat' | world | Hindustan Times
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'40,000 civilians still in Pak's volatile Swat'

world Updated: Jun 09, 2009 22:44 IST

AFP
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Some 40,000 civilians remain in Pakistan's troubled Swat region where they lack access to electricity and water amid a military assault against the Taliban, the Red Cross said today.

"Every time we entered a village, hundreds of people asked for help," said Michael von Bergen, an International Committee of the Red Cross representative who was part of a convoy delivering aid in the region last weekend.

"Those who did not leave are now desperate. They need food, clean water and working medical facilities," he added in a statement.

The situation in the area "remains volatile," assessed the ICRC, adding that a curfew remain in place in Swat.

Pakistan launched its push into Lower Dir, Buner and Swat in late April and early May after the Taliban advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Islamabad, violating a deal to put three million people under sharia law in exchange for peace.

Pakistan has not released civilian casualty figures as a result of the operations but says more than 1,300 rebels have been killed.

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