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Rescue workers pass UN test

Swiss search and rescue teams have met the requirements set out by the United Nations to work abroad after carrying out a successful earthquake simulation.

The foreign ministry said on Friday that a team of UN observers from eight different countries had assessed Swiss workers for their leadership, mobilisation, detection, rescue and management skills.

Exercises in the Bernese Oberland and at Zurich's international airport included the rescue of around 100 people using 18 dogs and 20 tons of material.

More than 200 specialists from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and from canton Bern took part.

Switzerland is now certified by the UN's International Search and Rescue Advisory Group, which coordinates disaster assistance for over 80 countries.