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3.4 million displaced by Pakistan fighting

May 30, 2009 at 1:34 PM

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, May 30 (UPI) -- More than 3 million Pakistani civilians have been displaced by fighting between the government and Taliban militants, provincial officials say.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for Pakistan's North West Frontier province, told reporters in Peshawar Friday the number of "internally displaced people," or IDPs, stood at 3.4 million, with 2.8 million of them from the province's Malakand division, Pakistan's English-language newspaper Dawn reported.

Hussain asserted the provincial government was determined to provide food and shelter to all refugees, saying a "substantial" number of doctors had been dispatched to tend to them.

The official said government forces had succeeded in dismantling terror networks operating in Malakand, which includes the restive Swat Valley area, but added that fighting will continue until the militants have been defeated.

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