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Swiss government expresses sympathy with flood victims

The Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, expressed sympathy for the victims in Valais

(Keystone)

The Swiss president, Adolf Ogi, on Sunday expressed sympathy with the victims of the mudslide disaster in Gondo, which is assumed to have cost 13 lives, and with the people of Valais who have been badly hit by flooding.

Ogi was paying a visit to the devastated village of Gondo on Sunday before returning to Berne later in the day.

Speaking on behalf if his cabinet colleagues, Ogi expressed consternation and sorrow at the disaster which has hit canton Valais.

"The canton of Valais, the village of Gondo and its population have been badly hit" he said. "People are missing and historical buildings have been destroyed."

"The cabinet wishes the population strength and courage, as they attempt to come to terms with this terrible stroke of fate."

He said that once again, people had to recognise how violent nature could be.

Ogi, who is also defence minister, confirmed that army recruits were being sent to help relief operations in the canton. Army helciopters are also involved.

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