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Singapore Military Ending Tsunami Relief Work in Indonesia's Aceh  - 2005-01-21


The United States and Singapore say they will scale back military tsunami relief efforts as a United Nations-led conference discusses how to protect people from future natural disasters.

The chief of the U.S. Pacific Command says immediate tsunami relief work is almost done, although he says U.S. helicopters will continue to ferry supplies as needed. Admiral Thomas Fargo says U.S. forces may finish operations by the end of February.

Singapore's defense minister also has announced plans to soon begin withdrawing that country's 1,000 troops from Indonesia.

On Wednesday, Indonesia announced that tens of thousands of the missing are now considered dead, bringing the Indonesian death toll to more than 166-thousand and the total for all nations affected to around 220-thousand.

Meanwhile, delegates to a United Nations conference on coping with natural disaster are discussing methods such as a global tsunami warning system and public education on disaster survival to lessen the effects of future such events.

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