Tuesday, October 11, 2005

US military to boost humanitarian aid to Pakistan

The U.S. military is increasing humanitarian aid to Pakistan after the worst earthquake in the country's history, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other senior officials said on Tuesday.

President George W. Bush has offered an initial $50 million in U.S. emergency aid to Pakistan, which has been a close ally in Washington's war on terrorism.

Bush's government, criticized for an initially slow response to last December's Asian tsunami and for a sluggish reaction to Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast in August, has already sent helicopters and planeloads of disaster aid to Pakistan. Tens of thousands of people were killed in the weekend quake.

The United States is expected to have about 40 helicopters on the ground in Pakistan within weeks, said Gen. John Abizaid, head of U.S. Central Command responsible for the region.

Read the Full Story at Reuters AlertNet
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