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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 09:42 GMT
Tent fire kills quake survivors
A fire in a tent housing earthquake survivors in Pakistan has killed seven people, including four children, police say.

The fire broke out late on Tuesday night in Mansehra district in northern Pakistan, relief officials said.

Four of the victims died on the spot and three others died on Wednesday at a German-run field hospital, police said.

About three million people lost their homes in the quake, which Pakistan says left some 73,000 dead.

The Associated Press quotes a local police official as saying that the fire was caused by a candle.

The family had lit a candle that ignited a fire in bedding after the family went to sleep
Mohammed Nadeem

"There was no electricity last night. The family had lit a candle that ignited a fire in bedding after the family went to sleep," the police official, Mohammed Nadeem, said.

The dead include four children - two girls and two boys - and their mother.

Tent fears

Last week, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said most of the tents given to earthquake survivors were not designed for winter conditions.

The IOM is leading the operation to distribute emergency shelter to the survivors of the disaster.

Relief organisations have long been appealing for "winterised" tents designed to withstand the cold of a Himalayan winter.

International donors have pledged some $5.4bn (3.14bn) to help Pakistan recover from the earthquake.

Many of the pledges are in the form of low-interest loans.

The authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir say some 1,400 people there were killed by the earthquake.

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