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Pak army toll in quake climbs to 300

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October 10, 2005 19:02 IST

Over 300 Pakistani army personnel were killed and more than 500 injured when their bunkers and barracks collapsed in Saturday's powerful earthquake, Defence Spokesman Shaukat Sultan has said.

"Pakistan army has lost over 300 soldiers and over 500 are injured in the quake affected areas," he told CNN.

Sultan said rescue and relief activities in the earthquake-hit areas will gain full momentum by Monday evening as more helicopters were expected to join in the rescue efforts.

Moreover, rescue teams would be able to reach in more areas as arterial roads, blocked by landslides after the quake, have been reopened.

Rescue teams would be able to reach everywhere and everyone at least by Monday evening, he said adding, the enormity of the earthquake was so much and the area affected was so massive that it was difficult to reach everyone within the first 24-36 hours.

To a question, he said foreign teams are bringing the right kind of relief to the affected areas. Along with them there are professional rescue teams and field hospitals.

He said rescue teams and aid were arriving from France, Spain, Germany, Turkey, UAE, China, Japan and Iran andexpressed hope that some more teams from abroad would reach on Monday.

To a question, he said, the first priority of the rescue operators is to find people still alive and rescue them.

Shifting of the injured to safe areas for appropriate treatment is the second priority, he said adding, the third being to ensure that relief reaches to right people.

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