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Premier Wen back in Beijing
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao returned to Beijing Friday morning from quake-hit Sichuan Province in the southwest, where he has been directing the rescue and relief efforts since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck on Monday.

He flew to the provincial capital of Chengdu on Monday afternoon just a few hours after the earthquake and then rushed from one quake-hit area to another to console victims and give instructions on rescue work.

"We have organized more than 100,000 people from across the country for rescue work," Wen said in an interview with Chinese media before he left Sichuan.

He said rescue teams had reached all the disaster-hit counties and townships. Professional rescuers were sent to rescue people who were buried in debris, and they had saved a large number of victims.

More than 100 helicopters flew to the areas which were blocked from the outside, to transport rescuers, supplies and carry back injured people, he said.

Wen said saving lives remained the top priority almost four days after the quake. "We won't give up if there is even the slightest hope of finding more survivors," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 16, 2008)

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