The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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A mother celebrates, another mourns
- First sign of life in death zone

Muzaffarabad, Oct. 15 (Reuters): New life emerged from the ruins of Pakistan Kashmir today when a woman rescued from an earthquake-devastated mountain village gave birth to a baby girl.

Naseema Bibi was outside her home in the remote village of Paktika when the quake struck a week ago, her husband said.

“I am very happy, I have a new baby,” said the father, Mohammad Munir, who had been camping out in the cold and rain with his wife and two other children since their home was destroyed.

“I was very worried, I didn’t know what to do, she was pregnant, then a helicopter came and brought us here,” he said, speaking at an emergency clinic set up in a ruined army camp in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan Kashmir.

His wife and the new baby, Fareen, were resting inside the tent. Both were doing fine.

“It’s the last thing we expected,” said Adnan Asdar of the Citizens Foundation, an aid group running the centre.

“There’s some good news, we’re very happy. We’re all enjoying this for five or 10 minutes, then we have to get back to work.”

Helicopters are still rescuing injured from outlying villages cut off by landslides and bringing them in to Muzaffarabad, while in the ruined city, bodies are still being dug out of the rubble.

Soldiers were today looking for the last of 12 employees killed in a bank in the city centre, using a digger to remove huge chunks of broken concrete and twisted metal.

The area manager for the National Bank of Pakistan, Abdul Hamid Raja, looked on as another group of soldiers used sledgehammers and iron wedges to smash open one of his safes.

“When the earthquake struck, no one had time to look after the keys,” he said.

Raja said the bank had opened on time at 8.30 am last Saturday. The quake struck about 20 minutes later.

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