UN official says 1.3 million IDPs have returned to Swat

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Islamabad, Aug.19 (ANI): A United Nations official on Wednesday said that about 1.3 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have returned to their homes in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province, including the Swat Valley.

"The best estimate that we can make now is that approximately 1.3 million displaced people have returned home," Pakistan's UN humanitarian coordinator Martin Mogwanja told a press conference here.

Most of these IDPs had fled their homes in the wake of a military offensive against the Taliban rebels in the Swat and Malakand Divisions of the North West Frontier Province.

Pakistan had launched the military operation in the districts of Buner, Lower Dir and Swat after the Taliban had advanced to within 100 kilometres of Islamabad last April, violating a September 2007 peace deal.

Pakistan's military has said that it has cleared the three districts of insurgents.

Mogwanja, however, said that the military operation is still on in some parts of Swat and Lower Dir, and added that the UN is monitoring the situation. (ANI)

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