Wide spread destruction in Mingora

BBC:

The scale of the war damage to the main city in the Swat valley has become clear, as fears are expressed about the humanitarian situation in the region.

Taliban rebels were driven out of Mingora on Saturday by Pakistan government troops.

The defence secretary says operations in the whole Swat valley region should end in the next few days, though military chiefs are more cautious.

A BBC correspondent who went to Mingora has reported widespread damage.

Rifatullah Orakzai, reporting for the BBC's Urdu Service, said that all the buildings and shops in the town square had been completely destroyed.

However, local people have now been able to seek supplies in the town's market after the lifting of a curfew.

Pakistan's army said essential services were being restored to the city.

The International Red Cross said it was "gravely concerned" by the humanitarian situation in Swat.

Water and electricity were not available, there was no fuel for generators, most medical facilities had stopped operating and food was scarce, it said.

"The people of Swat need greater humanitarian protection and assistance immediately," said Pascal Cuttat, head of the organisation's delegation in Pakistan.

Fawad Hussein, of the United Nations office for the co-ordination of humanitarian affairs, said:

"Since there is no electricity supply, the wells are not working. People are forced to use alternative water sources, which is causing water-borne diseases. There is no electricity in any of the health facilities."

Some 2.5 million people have fled their homes since military operations began in Swat more than a month ago.

...

The army is still probably underestimating the amount of clearing of Taliban that remains. It has said only about five to 10 percent of Swat needs to be cleared, but with the Taliban camouflaging themselves as civilians that number is probably greater.

I think the amount of destruction was probably caused by the Pakistan Army's use of artillery and other heavy weapons in an urban area to clear the Taliban. Of course the Taliban were guilty of a war crime by using urban defenses and endangering civilians.

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