First group of Belgian evacuees back in Belgium

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A first group of 106 people who were evacuated from Haiti has arrived at Melsbroek airport on the Belgian army Airbus.

About 40 Belgians who live and work in Haiti were among the first group evacuated. Some twenty-four members of the Belgian international disaster team B-Fast flew also back to Belgium. They are being relieved at the request of the United Nations. The Belgians are being replaced by other international teams.

Geert Ghys, the team coordinator, told VRT News: "We've been working very hard. We rescued many people from under the rubble, but also saw many bodies. There are still many other teams that need to start. The teams that have been here longest are being replaced."

The rest of the B-Fast team will remain in Port-au-Prince for a while yet to man the Belgian field hospital and will now get special military protection. Belgium has sent 34 soldiers to provide protection for aid workers and diplomats. A further contingency may be sent.

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