Asia: Quake toll towards 2,000

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The 7.6-magnitude quake with the epicentre 80km (50 miles) north-east of Islamabad wiped out several villages.

In one incident, 400 children were reported to have died when their school collapsed in north-west Pakistan.

The worst hit area is disputed Kashmir, where more than 2,000 people are feared dead on the Pakistan side. Indian officials reported nearly 300 deaths.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who was visiting the site, said the quake was a “test of the nation”.