Clinton to Announce Aid for Pakistan Refugees
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2009 11:16 AM CDT
Refugees from fighting in the Swat Valley wait to cross to their villages at Bela Pass on the edge of Ambela, one of the first villages inside Buner district, Pakistan, Tuesday, May 19, 2009.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton will detail plans for US humanitarian aid to Pakistan later today, as part of the administration's new strategy for countering the appeal of Taliban militants in the nuclear-armed country. An administration official said the aid package would amount to about $100 million to help Pakistani refugees who have fled fighting in the Swat Valley and are living in squalid tent cities.

Pakistan's army is engaged in major combat in Swat, in response to attempts by armed Islamic militants to solidify their hold on the region. Pakistan reluctantly undertook the offensive under pressure from the United States after Taliban fighters had taken positions within 60 miles of Islamabad. The military says more than 1000 insurgents have so far been killed in the fighting, which has forced nearly 1.5 million people to flee the area.