The Red Cross will halt most of its aid programs in Pakistan because of deteriorating security, illustrated by the recent beheading of a British staff doctor that was blamed on the Taliban. The independent agency, which rarely suspends operations, said it would remain in the country but "on a reduced scale." Jacques de Maio, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross operations in South Asia, said "all relief and protection activities are being stopped. All projects of rehabilitation, economic projects, have been terminated." He added: "We have closed a number of offices. We are also terminating all visits to detainees in Pakistan."
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