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. Spanish military to deploy in tsunami-hit Asian nations: PM
MADRID (AFP) Jan 06, 2005
Spain will next week send military aircraft and troops to support the international aid effort in Asian countries hit by deadly tsunamis, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Thursday.

The Hercules transport planes and helicopters will carry field hospitals and engineers to bolster the unprecedented rescue effort, Zapatero told reporters without specifying how many aircraft and personnel would be involved nor which countries they would head to.

US, European and Asian militaries are already deployed in force at the sharp end of emergency relief operations in the countries hit by the tsunami disaster that killed at least 146,000 people.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid football club, which has a large fan base in Asia, on Thursday began a fundraising campaign to aid survivors of the disaster, opening a special bank account for the purpose.

"As footballers we were always received with warmth in the region," skipper Raul Gonzalez said in a statement. "Today we must respond by helping the hundreds of thousands of people who need us to do so."

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