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Militaries' Tsunami Relief Efforts Praised

30 January 2005 -- A senior UN official has praised the work of military forces in the relief operation for the victims of the Asian tsunami disaster.

Kevin Kennedy, of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the military had brought a "unique dimension" to the giant aid effort.

It was the biggest-ever military involvement in a humanitarian disaster both in terms of the number of countries affected and those offering armed services, he said.

Twenty-five countries contributed military personnel, particularly the United States, which sent thousands of soldiers, an aircraft carrier, and helicopters, to the worst-hit area, Indonesia's Aceh Province.

The presence of foreign troops in the disaster zones is now winding down.