ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- International aid groups responding to the flood disaster in Pakistan say they aren't worried about threats issued by the Taliban.
P.J. Crowley, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said there was a "real threat" from the Taliban targeting aid workers in Pakistan.
Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the United Nations in Pakistan, described any attack on humanitarian workers as an assault on the Pakistani people.
More than 1,000 people are dead and millions are displaced from floods that have put more than 20 percent of the country under water.
But Amir Rana, a terrorism expert at Islamabad's Pakistani Institute for Peace Studies, said insurgent attacks during national emergencies in Pakistan are rare.
"They didn't strike during the 2005 earthquake, despite the fact that at that time they weren't countering a military operation and NATO troops were present in Kashmir," he told the Christian Science Monitor.
With military forces tasked with humanitarian operations, experts worry the Taliban and other insurgents will take advantage of the national disaster.
Pakistani Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, a spokesman for the Pakistani military, told the newspaper the army was capable of responding to the floods while standing ready to take on insurgents.
"In Swat and many of the affected areas in the north-west, they are looking two ways," he said of the insurgents.