Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

TALKING EUROPE

Guy Verhofstadt: Lack of EU asylum system is 'pushing people to come to Europe'

Read more

FOCUS

The health risk behind Argentina's soya paradise

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Disability discrimination: Removing the obstacles to success

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Mumford & Sons and the 'Queen of British Blues'

Read more

FASHION

30th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The Right to Offend: Writers to Boycott Charlie Hebdo PEN Award

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Ethiopia's green renaissance

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: On the trail of looted antiquities

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The prosecutor who could save Baltimore

Read more

Asia-pacific

Gov't temporarily lifts curfew to allow civilians to flee

Video by Guillaume COUDERC , Louis MASSIE

Latest update : 2009-05-11

Pakistan temporarily lifted its curfew on the northwestern Swat valley to allow more than 100,000 civilians to flee an anti-Taliban military operation in the region. The government is advising residents in the main town of Mingora to leave.

AFP - Pakistan relaxed its curfew on the northwestern Swat valley Sunday to allow more than 100,000 civilians to flee fighting between government troops and Taliban militants, officials said.
  
The curfew was to be eased in Swat and Malakand from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm (midnight to 0700 GMT), an official statement said, advising residents from the main town of Mingora and nearby areas to leave.
  
"We expect more than 100,000 people will quit their homes at different places in Swat today," local administration chief Khushhal Khan told AFP.
  
The UN refugee agency has warned up to one million people have already been displaced in northwest Pakistan, with tens of thousands streaming out of Buner, Lower Dir and Swat, registering in camps or sheltering with families.
  
The government has said it was bracing to cope with half a million people displaced by the fighting.
  
Thousands of Pakistani troops backed by warplanes and helicopter gunships are involved in the massive operation against Taliban and extremist fighters in the area, where jet fighters were pounding suspected rebel hideouts.
  
The entry of vehicles into Mingora would not be allowed during the seven-hour curfew break but vehicles leaving the valley

would not be stopped, it said.
  
Khan said the government had made no arrangements for the transportation of the more than 100,000 civilians expected to flee Sunday, but had set up five more camps in North West Frontier Province where the displaced will be lodged.
  
Pakistani security forces mounted operations across three districts late last month after the hardline Taliban advanced to within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of Islamabad.
  
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Saturday that the army would minimise civilian casualties while the government would look after those displaced by the conflict.


 

Date created : 2009-05-10

COMMENT(S)