Austria suspends rescue operation in Turkey after ‘clashes’

Michael Bauer, a spokesman for the Austrian ministry of defence, said the country’s forces were operating in “an increasingly difficult security situation”, and that they would continue their operations once the environment becomes safe. 

Clashes between unidentified groups have been reported in the wake of the series of devastating earthquakes earlier this week, which have so far claimed the lives of over 24,000 people.

Austrian troops are reportedly sheltering in a base camp alongside other international organisations.

Rescue teams on Saturday pulled to safety a family of five, who survived inside their collapsed home for five days.

              Turkey – UMIT BEKTAS/REUTERS© Provided by The Telegraph

             Turkey – Ozkan Bilgin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images© Provided by The Telegraph

They first rescued the mother and daughter, Havva and Fatmagul Aslan, from among the debris in the town of Nurdag, in Gaziantep province.

They later reached the father, Hasan Aslan, but he insisted that his other daughter, Zeynep, and son, Saltik Bugra, be saved first.

As Mr Aslan was brought out, rescuers chanted; “God is Great!”

The dramatic rescue of the family after 129 hours under the rubble means nine people have been rescued so far on Saturday, despite diminishing hopes amid freezing temperatures.

The rescues bring glimmers of joy amid overwhelming devastation days after Monday’s 7.8-magnitude quake collapsed thousands of buildings and left millions homeless.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the chief of the World Health Organisation, arrived on Saturday in Syria’s quake-stricken city of Aleppo.

Upon his arrival, Mr Tedros said that he had brought “emergency medical supplies of around 37 metric tonnes”.


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