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Venezuelan leader laments China's quake tragedy


08:28, April 22, 2013

CARACAS, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Sunday lamented the loss of lives and large number of casualties caused by the magnitude-7 earthquake that struck China' s southwest Sichuan province Saturday.

In a communique issued by the country's Foreign Ministry, Maduro conveyed his most heartfelt condolences to the families of the 186 victims and sympathy to the more than 11,393 injured, and highlighted the close ties that exist between the two nations.

"The government reiterates its unwavering accompaniment of the People's Republic of China in the continued construction of solid relations, especially during moments of hardship such as this one, in which fraternity and solidarity are the hallmarks of unity," the government said.

The widespread damage caused by the quake centered in the city of Ya'an, led Chinese President Xi Jinping to call on officials " to make every effort possible" to rescue those buried by the rubble, particularly in the critical 24 hours after the quake.

Some 21 people remain missing, Chinese authorities have reported.

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