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US military ends Pakistan flood relief

December 02, 2010

Stranded flood affected people rush to board a US forces Chinook helicopter, in Kalam in Pakistan's Swat Valley.—AP photo

ISLAMABAD: The US military has ended its relief mission helping victims of this summer's floods in Pakistan.

American choppers flew in from Afghanistan once the scale of the disaster became apparent in early August.

They have flown hundreds of missions in the northwest and in Punjab, dropping off food and relief supplies and rescuing stranded people.

Pakistani and American officials Thursday staged a ceremony at an aviation base to mark the end of the mission.

At their peak, the floods affected 20 million people across the country.

The American mission was an opportunity for Washington to show that it cared for ordinary Pakistanis.

US officials have expressed hope it may have reduced —if only a little —widespread anti-US sentiment in the militancy-wracked country.