Earthquake: Austrian army suspends relief operations in Turkey

Earthquake: Austrian army suspends relief operations in Turkey< /p> UPDATE DAY

The Austrian army suspended rescue operations in Turkey on Saturday morning, citing “the security situation” there, after the powerful earthquake that killed more than 24,000 people.

“There have been attacks between groups,” a spokesman in Vienna told AFP, without giving further details.  

The 82 soldiers of the AFDRU special relief unit (Austrian forces disaster relief unit) took shelter in a base camp in the province of Hatay “with other international organizations, in the awaiting instructions,” he added. 

They arrived on Tuesday with 45 tons of equipment and were able to extricate nine people from the rubble, according to a statement on Friday. < /p>

Their return to Austria is currently still planned for Thursday, but “the situation is being examined,” the spokesperson said. 

According to the latest official reports, the earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8, killed at least 24,218 people: 20,665 in Turkey and 3,553 in Syria. 

On both sides of the border, thousands of homes are destroyed and rescuers are stepping up their efforts to ur search for survivors.