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Over 13,000 troops deployed for China quake relief

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- More than 13,000 Chinese soldiers have been deployed for rescue and disaster relief since a 7.0-magnitude quake struck southwestern province of Sichuan on Saturday morning, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

Yang Yujun told a press conference that the the People's Liberation Army (PLA) have also mobilized over 5,900 militia staff for quake relief, using 17 fixed-wing planes, 45 helicopters, 1,071 motor vehicles and machines.

Having covered all the places in the quake zone, PLA troops have searched and rescued 144 people, treated over 21,000 and performed 129 surgical operations.

In addition, troops have transferred more than 46,000 people away from dangerous areas, and provided 11,000 sets of hot food. They have also built more then 14,000 tents, restored over 300 km of road, and disinfected a combined area of 175,000 square meters since the quake.

The troops have sent over 10,000 tonnes of relief materials to quake-hit areas, with 13 tonnes being airdropped.

Yang added that the PLA will continue to carry out quake relief missions by further rescuing people and treating the injured, assisting the relocation of quake victims, assessing the disaster situation, clearing roads, and strengthening epidemic control work.

At the press conference, Yang also welcomed journalists from Taiwan, as it was the first time that journalists from the island have been allowed to attend the press briefings organized by the mainland's military.

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