Page last updated at 06:48 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 07:48 UK

Pakistan displaced returns resume

Pakistani children peer out of a bus as they wait to begin the journey to Swat
Thousands of families have now left the relief camps

The return of people displaced by fighting in the Swat valley has resumed, officials say.

On Thursday, military authorities suspended the return of the displaced for "logistical reasons". No vehicles were allowed into the district.

More than 350,000 people have returned to their homes after the army said it had cleared the area of militants.

Two million people were displaced as the army took on Taliban insurgents based in the Swat valley.

It was said to be one of the biggest human migrations in recent times - and the government has been sending back many of the refugees housed in the relief camps set up across the North West Frontier Province (NWFP).

Thousands of others who were not housed in camps but who had been staying with relatives in alternative accommodation also began returning of their own volition.

On Friday the first batch of families was reported to have left their homes from camps in Mardan.

Although the army had announced that the Malakand division, which includes Swat valley, was largely free of militants there have been isolated outbreaks of violence.

Pakistan's army says it has now shifted its focus to the Taliban hideouts in the tribal district of South Waziristan, which is where Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has his headquarters.


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