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Taliban hints at aid worker attacks

The Taliban has hinted it may launch attacks against foreign flood relief workers in Pakistan, saying their presence is "unacceptable".

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq claimed that the US and other countries were not really focused on providing aid to flood victims, but had other "intentions" which he did not specify.

Mr Tariq strongly hinted that the militants could resort to violence.

He said: "When we say something is unacceptable to us, one can draw his own conclusion."

The US and other countries have pledged nearly 800 million dollars (£518 million) and provided aid workers to help Pakistan cope with the worst floods in the nation's history.

Meanwhile, Pakistani officials have urged anyone left in three southern towns to evacuate immediately as water broke through an embankment, endangering areas previously untouched by the country's flooding disaster.

The swollen Indus River broke through the Sur Jani embankment in southern Sindh province late on Wednesday, threatening the towns of Sujawal, Daro and Mir Pur Batoro, said Mansoor Sheikh, a government official in Thatta district.

Most of the 400,000 people who live in the area are thought to have evacuated already, but those remaining were warned to flee, he said.

The floods began almost a month ago with the onset of the monsoon and have ravaged a massive swathe of Pakistan, from the mountainous north through to its agricultural heartland.

More than eight million people are in need of emergency assistance, and the UK and the US have led nations in pledging hundreds of millions of pounds in aid. The death toll in the floods stands around 1,500, but the disaster ranks as one of Pakistan's worst because of the scale and massive economic damage, especially to the country's vital agricultural sector.

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