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. US Hands Over Kashmir Relief Equipment To Pakistan

Pakistan is to launch a massive reconstruction effort in the quake-hit zone in March after the end of the current harsh Himalayan winters.
by Staff Writers
Muzaffarabad, Pakistan (AFP) Feb 13, 2006
The US military handed over equipment worth 2.5 million dollars to the Pakistan army as it wound up its biggest ever external relief operation for the survivors of last year's devastating Kashmir earthquake.

The US military had turned over three D-7 bulldozers, 10 dump trucks, seven 100-kilowatt generators and four generator skids to Pakistan army engineers as part of the ongoing "transition from relief to construction," a statement said.

"This equipment is vital to the continuing mission of rebuilding Pakistan," Commander of the US Disaster Assistance Centre Rear Admiral Michael LeFever said in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani zone of Kashmir.

The US military also intended to hand over an 84-bed mobile army surgical hospital they had set up in Muzaffarabad, it said in a statement.

The US Navy's mobile construction unit, known as the Seabees, joined the relief operation after the October 8 quake in Pakistan. They constructed 70 temporarily shelters and 15 transitional shelters to be used as schools.

The massive 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed more than 73,000 people in Pakistan and left some 3.5 million homeless.

In a phased withdrawal the US military is to pull out around 750 American troops by the end of March.

Pakistan is to launch a massive reconstruction effort in the quake-hit zone in March after the end of the current harsh Himalayan winters.

The United States has pledged 510 million dollars for relief and rehabilitation and also promised to aid the rebuilding of the infrastructure, housing, education and healthcare facilities in Pakistan.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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