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Pakistani Army Sets Up Quake Relief Camps

Pakistan's army has set up two relief camps and a field hospital for quake victims along its disputed Kashmiri border with India, an army spokesman said Monday, a day after the rivals agreed to open the heavily guarded frontier to ease the delivery of aid.

The field hospital and one of the camps are in the town of Chakothi (search), one of the five points where residents will be allowed to cross the border starting Nov. 7, said Farooq Nasir, the army spokesman in Muzaffarabad (search), the capital of Pakistan's part of Kashmir (search).

India has already set up three relief camps on its side of the so-called Line of Control (search), which has divided the Himalayan region for nearly six decades. The neighbors have fought two wars over Kashmir.

Relief groups and quake survivors have praised Sunday's unprecedented border deal, which allows relief goods to be sent in either direction and handed to local authorities at the crossings.

Sounding an ominous note, Pakistan-based militants opposed to New Delhi's rule in Kashmir also have welcomed the move as giving them easier access to the Indian side.

Three deadly explosions in New Delhi on Saturday left at least 59 dead. A little-known group that Indian police say has ties to Pakistan-based militants fighting in divided Kashmir claimed responsibility for the attacks, but India has not publicly blamed anyone on Pakistan's side of the border.

The official death toll from Oct. 8 quake rose to 57,597 with 78,800 injured, although central government figures have lagged behind those of local governments, who put the number of dead at around 80,000. Another 1,350 people died in Indian-held Kashmir.

Those figures could rise substantially if sufficient shelter, food and medical attention for the more than 3.3 million people left homeless fails to arrive before the brutal Himalayan winter sets in over coming weeks. About 800,000 people still lack any form of shelter.

Pakistan's Meteorological Department said temperatures were expected to dip as low as 14 degrees in high mountain villages over the coming two days. Overnight showers are also expected in the quake zone.

On Monday, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said the support of the international community will be as critical in the long term as in this emergency phase. It confirmed a donors' conference on reconstruction will be held Nov. 19 in Islamabad.

"The resources required to help rebuild the lives of those who suffered from this terrible disaster cannot be provided by one country alone," it said in a statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search), who has urged nations to step up aid to Pakistan, will be among those attending, it said.

Also Monday, the first of four NATO CH-53 Sikorsky heavy lift helicopters from the German Air Force arrived in Pakistan to boost movement of supplies and personnel.

NATO doctors are setting up a field hospital in the town of Bagh, while NATO engineers will clear roads, purify water, dig wells and help build temporary shelters, the alliance said a statement.

"We're working against the clock to bring aid to as many people as we can before the severe Himalayan winter is upon us," commander of the NATO disaster relief team, Vice Admiral John Stufflebeem (search), said in the statement. "That's what the real enemy is here — time."

In the quake-devastated town of Balakot, some tent camp residents were burning donated clothing on cooking fires for warmth, while others were dressing sheep and other livestock in the donated items to protect their animals against temperatures that plunged near freezing overnight.

In her first tour of the disaster zone on Sunday, UNICEF (search) Executive Director Ann Veneman (search) said casualties could mount from dysentery, exposure and untreated injuries if the survivors did not get more aid soon.

Though donors have pledged hundreds of millions to fund the international relief effort, only a fraction has been received. The United Nations has warned its emergency reserves are very low, and that helicopters could be grounded within a week without more funding.