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50,000 Troops Fan Out in Pakistani Kashmir to Help Quake Victims


Helicopter relief operations to earthquake-hit areas north of Islamabad have resumed, after being temporarily suspended because of torrential rains.

Some 50,000 Pakistani troops have now fanned out in Pakistani Kashmir to help the homeless. Helicopters are ferrying supplies to towns and villages that are inaccessible by road because of landslides triggered by Saturday's 7.6 magnitude earthquake.

Earlier, army convoys carried supplies to several devastated cities, including Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Kashmir, where hundreds of thousands of survivors have spent the past two nights in the open.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz told reporters the death toll now stands at 23,000 and that some 51,00 people have been injured. Mr. Aziz told reporters more than 2.5 million people have been rendered homeless. He also said $300 million in relief aid has already been received.

Across the line of control, in Indian Kashmir, officials say the quake death toll has surpassed 1,300 people, and could rise further. India's military is leading rescue operations and the distribution of supplies to remote villages.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited the affected area Tuesday and assured survivors of government help in rebuilding their lives. Mr. Singh also pledged more than $110 million in additional emergency relief aid for the region.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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