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Pakistan's earthquake death toll could rise in inaccessible areas: minister

Islamabad, Sept. 26 — Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the parliament on Thursday that the death toll from the 7.7-magnitude powerful earthquake could rise as some areas are still inaccessible due to lack of roads.

The minister, in a policy statement on the earthquake that struck parts of southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday, informed the National Assembly that 348 people are confirmed dead.

He said C-130 military cargo planes will start transporting relief goods to the affected areas from Thursday.

He said the earthquake has affected a 500-kilometer area in Balochistan and Awaran and Kech are the most affected areas.

The minister said 1,000 Army personnel are also involved in helping the affected populations.

Chaudhry Nisar said the army-run National Logistic Cell has also been mobilized to transport relief goods to the quake-hit areas.

He advised the political parties to avoid point scoring on this national tragedy and instead demonstrate unity.

The federal ministers Abdul Qadir Baloch and Jam Kaml visited the worst affected areas on Thursday where they were briefed over the rescue and relief operations.

The ministers were informed that the Army has set up a medical camp in Mashkil area and doctors and surgeons are treating the injured.

Reports said helicopter of the Chairman Major General, Saeed Aleem, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), escaped a rocket fire when he was heading to Mashkil area in Balochistan.

A senior security official said most of the affected areas are highly risky for relief workers as insurgents operate there. (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/UTB

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