Thousands of people in Indian-controlled Kashmir wait for help

Thousands of people in Indian-controlled Kashmir waited for help Tuesday as villagers complained they had run out of food and water following a devastating earthquake that flattened the region. Officials said the death toll in India from Saturday's quake had reached 1,005, including 934 civilians and 71 defense personnel.

Home Secretary V.K. Duggal said 2,430 others were injured and around 5,000 homes and buildings damaged or destroyed in Indian-administered Kashmir. Relief has been sent to most areas, but some remote communities have not yet been covered, he said on Monday in the capital, New Delhi.

"As road accessibility improves, we hope to reach these villages by Tuesday. There may be some more casualties but not too many more," Duggal told reporters. Meanwhile, the region's Islamic insurgency continued unabated, and for some survivors of Saturday's magnitude-7.6 temblor, death came in a different form: 10 people were killed by suspected Muslim militants overnight, police said Monday. Rescue workers dropped food and burial shrouds from the air onto inaccessible mountain villages.

Authorities have delivered rice, flour and sugar, part of it dropped by military aircraft over remote villages, said Vijay Bakaya, the top official of Jammu-Kashmir state. He said the worst-hit areas will get free rations for one month.

In addition, 2,250 meters (7,380 feet) of shrouds, pieces of unstitched cloth required by Islam for burial, have been air-dropped, he said.

Some 5,000 tents have been provided, far short of the 15,000 needed, he said. The remaining were being dispatched from other states, Bakaya said.

In the village of Gingal, the army set up a feeding station and a medical clinic. Residents were given bread, rice and cooked potatoes, while soldiers handed out blankets, baskets of food, milk, soap and toothbrushes, reports the AP. I.L.

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