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Countries Send Thousands of Military Personnel for Tsunami Relief Effort

Thousands of military personnel from several countries have been deployed to hard-hit areas of the Indian Ocean tsunami.

Worldwide public and private aid pledges now top $5 billion, but those contributions do not include the cost of the military personnel that relief workers say are urgently needed to deliver aid to remote areas.

The United Nations-coordinated effort includes 16,000 U.S. forces, 16,000 Indian troops and 350 Australian military personnel. Pakistan and Spain each plan to deploy some 500 military personnel. Japan expects to send about 1,000 troops.

Countries as far away as Switzerland, Germany and Russia have contributed aircraft, ships and tons of supplies for the relief effort. Large so-called "floating hospitals," capable of purifying water and accommodating hundreds of victims, also have been deployed to the region.

Some information provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.