Military steps up efforts in disaster-hit Pakistan

 
Steve Dinneen
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THE Pakistani army yesterday took a lead role in rescuing survivors of devastating floods that have killed 1,600 people and left 2m homeless.

The army’s efforts come after the civilian government has appeared overwhelmed and President Asif Ali Zardari has been singled out for criticism for not cancelling an official visit to Europe as the country suffered the worst floods in 80 years.

Heavy rain is forecast to further lash the country in the next 36 hours.

Yesterday the UN increased its estimate of the total number of people affected by the floods from 4m to 6m as the waters have spread south.

Meanwhile, heavy rain in central Europe has caused floods which killed at least seven people. Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany were all hit by floods powerful enough to wash away bridges.