Pakistan

Turkey sends rescue teams, humanitarian aid to Pakistan

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ANKARA, Oct 9, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Turkey has sent search-and-rescue teams and humanitarian aid to Pakistan which was pounded by a Saturday morning's massive earthquake, Turkish Prime Ministry said on Sunday.

"Four planes of the Turkish Armed Forces have left for the quake-stricken region, carrying 93 rescue workers and medical personnel, five transport vehicles, two ambulances, three sniffer dogs and aid equipment, medicine and foodstuff," said a statement issued by the Prime Ministry's Directorate General of Emergency Management.

"A four-member search-and-rescue team has also left for the region to join efforts to find those still trapped under rubble," it added.

Turkish Red Crescent has also sent foodstuff, baby food and body bags to Pakistan. Its Director General Omer Tasli said on Sunday that the group would provide coordination among all relief organizations in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, aid group Lighthouse Association has sent an urgent humanitarian aid worth 100,000 US dollars to the quake-stricken region.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his Pakistani counterpart Shaukat Aziz on Saturday, expressing sorrow over the losses and pledging help.

The death toll from the huge earthquake reportedly rose to 18, 000 in worst-hit Pakistan alone on Sunday, with 41,000 injured.