French helicopters fly aid in to Aceh province

14th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - French military helicopters on Thursday joined aid operations underway in Indonesia's tsunami-hit province of Aceh, ferrying relief workers and equipment between the cities of Bandeh Aceh and Meulaboh, the French defence ministry said in Paris.

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - French military helicopters on Thursday joined aid operations underway in Indonesia's tsunami-hit province of Aceh, ferrying relief workers and equipment between the cities of Bandeh Aceh and Meulaboh, the French defence ministry said in Paris.

Four Puma aircraft were carrying out the mission after arriving Monday on board an Antonov cargo plane, the ministry's defence chief-of-staff said.

They will be joined by six other helicopters Friday, when the helicopter carrier Jeanne d'Arc and frigate Georges Leygues arrive.

Defence ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau said the Jeanne d'Arc was carrying tonnes of medical equipment, water and food, but was awaiting precise instructions from the Indonesian government as to how it could fit into the UN-coordinated aid operation thus far dominated by US and Australian military personnel.

French medical personnel were already operating a field hospital since Tuesday in Meulaboh, a city which lost around half its 56,000-strong population in the disaster.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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