Austrian army suspends Turkey quake rescue due to worsening ‘security situation’

The Austrian army on Saturday suspended rescue operations in quake-ravaged Turkey due to a worsening “security situation,” a spokesman said.

“There have been clashes between groups,” he told AFP without giving details.

The spokesman said the 82 soldiers from the Austrian Forces Disaster Relief Unit were sheltering in the southern Hatay province “in a base camp with other international organizations, awaiting instructions.”

They had arrived in Hatay on Tuesday with 45 tonnes of equipment and were able to rescue nine people from rubble.

They were set to return to Austria on Thursday but this is being reviewed, he said.

The 7.8-magniture tremor has claimed over 24,000 lives in Turkey and neighboring Syria.

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