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Brazilian Military Rescues Victims in Haitian Earthquake

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Brazilian troops participating in the peacekeeping mission in Haiti have turned to rescue work after the strong earthquake that heavily damaged the country.

Working through the early hours of Wednesday, Brazilian troops helped rescue comrades buried in collapsed buildings and assisted local authorities after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Tuesday afternoon.

A number of Brazilian soldiers were missing, according to the Brazilian Defense Ministry.

Army Commander, General Enzo Martins said there was some damage to several buildings used by Brasilians and damage estimates were still ongoing.

According to reports received from Claudio Campos, the Charge d'Affaires of Brazil in Port au Prince, the Brazilian Embassy suffered serious damage but there were no casualties among Brazilian officials. There were reports that some UN military installations also were damaged in the strongest earthquake to hit Haiti in more than 200 years.

About 1,266 Brazilian military personnel participate in the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti. The troops have played a significant role in helping victims of hurricanes which reached Haiti in 2004 and 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2010)