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Peacekeepers in Afghanistan Set Up Mobile Hospital for Quake Victims - 2002-03-29


International peacekeepers in Afghanistan have begun setting up a mobile hospital in the earthquake-stricken northern region of the country.

A 36-truck convoy of peacekeepers from Kabul reached the devastated town of Nahrin in Baghlan province (today / Friday), about 120 kilometers north of the capital.

A team of more than 100 German, Dutch and Danish troops, including five doctors and 20 other medics, are to provide primary medical care for earthquake victims.

An estimated 20-thousand people are stranded in the open on freezing hillsides outside Nahrin, afraid of returning to the town that has been rattled by many aftershocks since Monday's major tremor that measured six points on the Richter scale.

International supllies also have started reaching survivors. However, relief convoys have been slowed down by blocked roads, the threat of landmines and bad weather.

The final death toll from Monday's earthquake remains unclear, but U-N officials say up to 800 people may have died and more bodies could be found. Afghan officials have said that as many as two-thousand people may have died in the quake and its aftershocks.

Thursday, Afghanistan observed a day of mourning for the victims in Baghlan province.

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