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Brazil's Defence Minister Nelson Jobim reported on Friday that the number of dead soldiers in Haiti, due to the devastating earthquake that affected the Caribbean nation, could rise to 18.

He explained that the death of 14 military men, members of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has been confirmed, but the four soldiers that are still missing are probably already dead.

"Speaking of missing people is an euphemism," said Jobim, after arriving in Brasilia from Haiti.

According to the Folha de Sao Paulo daily, the minister said that besides the military men, there are three dead civilians, including diplomat Luiz Carlos da Costa, UN vice Representative to Haiti.

The same flight on which the minister arrived in this capital took Childhood Pastoral founder and international coordinator, Paediatrician Zilda Arns' corps to her homeland.

Brazil, which is currently commanding the MINUSTAH, implemented on Thursday an emergency plan in Haiti to help coordinate the international efforts to help the Caribbean nation.

A Defence Ministry communiqué said the rescue plan established five priorities: burial of the dead, emergency medical, assistance, waste elimination, increase security in the operations, and distribution of supplies, especially food and water.
Source: PL

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