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Friday, January 14, 2005

Indonesia Sets Deadline for Forces on Tsunami Duty (Update3)

Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla has given international troops until March 26 to leave Aceh province, where they are helping provide relief after last month's earthquake and tsunami, a military spokesman said.

Australia and the U.S. are among the nations helping to ferry supplies to survivors in the province in northern Sumatra. Kalla said overseas forces should hand over the operation to Indonesia three months after the Dec. 26 disaster, the spokesman, Ahmad Yani Basuki, said in a telephone interview today in Jakarta.

Aceh province was nearest the epicenter of the magnitude-9 earthquake that caused the tsunami to strike coastlines in South Asia and East Africa. More than 170,000 people were killed or are missing. Indonesia has the highest toll, with 106,523 deaths recorded by the Social Ministry.

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