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Last Updated: Saturday October 08 2005 16:48 GMT

Thousands killed in Kashmir quake

At least 2,000 people have died after an earthquake struck Pakistan, North India and Afghanistan on Saturday.

Whole villages were flattened by the quake, which was 7.6 on the Richter earthquake scale, and was centred 50 miles north of Islamabad in Pakistan.

In Islamabad, people rushed to dig with bare hands to rescue those trapped when a tall apartment building collapsed.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who was visiting the site, said the quake was a "test of the nation".

No-one knows exactly how many people have died, but some estimates say it could be up to 10,000.

The quake hit at about 3am British time, and was felt as far away as Indian capital Delhi.

The town of Uri, near the border between Indian and Pakistani Kashmir, has been badly hit, with very few buildings still standing.

At least 400 children have been killed, including 250 girls who died when their school collapsed in the northwestern district of Mansehra.

Because the laws controlling building works in the area aren't as strict as in the UK, the buildings there aren't very strong, putting them at risk from quakes.

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