China Begins Pulling Soldiers Out of Quake Zone

Two months after a 7.9 magnitude trembler struck Sichuan Province, killing 70,000 people, President Hu Jintao has ordered 40,000 Chinese soldiers to leave the area. From The New York Times:

In the afternoon, a long stretch of six-lane highway south of this city, in northern Sichuan Province, was lined with more than 100 green army trucks and civilian minibuses waiting to depart. Soldiers in fatigues loitered by the vehicles or slept inside. Many had the same tired, bored or far-off look of the soldiers who were bused into the chaotic quake-stricken cities in the hours after the earthquake hit on May 12.

“They did a good job and they’re very young, 18 or 19 years old, just like our children,” said Yu Tingyun, 42, a driver from north of Mianzhu who lost his only child, an 18-year-old daughter, in a school collapse during the earthquake.

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