08/04/2010, 00.00
PAKISTAN
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Pakistan, floods "helping the Taliban"

According Islamabad anti-terrorism, the disastrous floods in the north have been of unexpected help to the fundamentalists who have a higher speed of movement and can strike with more force now that the soldiers are committed in aid relief operations.

Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The worst floods in Pakistan's history (more than 1,100 victims have been discovered and 27 thousand people in danger) could become a unique opportunity for Islamic extremists in the area. Anti-terrorist operations have been suspended by the government in Islamabad, providing a rare window of opportunity for paramilitary militias close to the Taliban and al Qaeda to regroup.

The government has allocated over 30 thousand soldiers to relief operations in the affected area (north-western provinces of Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa). At the same time, Mullah Fazlullah, leader of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (local Taliban) announced that his men are returning to the area.

The problem lies in security of moevement. According to an anti-terrorism official in fact, "the infrastructure of the area of Swat and Malakand have been hit hard. It may take even a year to restore it. The bridges have all collapsed, and it is very difficult for the troops to get around: for extremists this problem does not arise. "

NATO troops also face several problems: supplies to Afghanistan, passing just to the north of Pakistan, will be slowed down significantly. Another unexpected aid to the Taliban, who last month killed 63 American soldiers: the worst result since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

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