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Strong Aftershock Hits Pakistan

13 October 2005 -- A 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit northern Pakistan early today, unsettling residents struggling to recover from the massive quake 8 October that killed at least 23,000 people.

No major new damage was reported from the aftershock, which struck at 1:23 a.m. local time.

In other developments, Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged delays in his government's initial response to the tragedy, but said relief operations are now fully under way.

In a nationally televised address yesterday, Musharraf also thanked the international community for its outpouring of aid to Pakistan and appealed for more assistance. Musharraf singled out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, Pakistan's traditional rival, for offers of help.

"The Indian prime minister was very kind to ring me up and offer all possible assistance," Musharraf said. "We expressed our gratitude to him, and we have accepted Indian aid in certain form and informed them."

Though hopes have faded for finding many more survivors in the rubble of destroyed buildings, a Russian search team yesterday was reported to have rescued a five-year-old girl who had been trapped for nearly 100 hours in the wreckage of her family home in Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Kashmir.