Thirteen feared dead as cold spell continues

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The Independent Online

A bitter cold spell that killed dozens in Mongolia and northern China has also taken the lives of at least 13 people in China's Muslim northwest, the official People's Daily said today.

A bitter cold spell that killed dozens in Mongolia and northern China has also taken the lives of at least 13 people in China's Muslim northwest, the official People's Daily said today.

Temperatures as low as minus 45 degrees C (minus 49 degrees F) and shoulder-high snows threaten another 920,000 people with starvation in remote regions of Xinjiang province near the Mongolian border, the report said.

It said the cold spell has killed more than 100,000 livestock, the economic lifeblood for the region's herders. Another 17 million cattle and goats are in danger as snows up to 1.5 metres blanket the grasslands that the animals depend on for food.

Deadly colds this winter have already claimed at least 29 lives in China's northern region of Inner Mongolia and another eight died in Mongolia, China's neighbor to the north. Most of those affected in all areas have been nomadic herders, who have seen their family herds wiped out.

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