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Chile earthquake: Army arrests curfew violators, more bodies recovered

March 1, 2010 |  3:25 pm

Chile_quake The Chilean army, enforcing emergency decrees aimed at containing widespread looting, arrested scores of people Monday for violating an overnight curfew as the country reeled from the weekend's devastating earthquake.

The death toll climbed to 711 as more bodies were pulled from the ruins of cities and towns hardest hit by the  magnitude 8.8  quake.

Faced with outbreaks of looting in Concepcion, just 70 miles from the quake's epicenter, President Michelle Bachelet deployed 10,000 troops to restore order and assist in the recovery of bodies and search for survivors.

She slapped a dusk-to-dawn curfew on Concepcion, Chile's second-largest city. Most of the city's quarter-million residents seemed to heed the warning, remaining in their homes or makeshift camps overnight. But about 150 people were arrested for violating the curfew, officials said.

Deputy Interior Minister Patricio Rosende downplayed reports of roving mobs and vigilantes in suburbs around Concepcion.

Continue reading In quake aftermath, Chile's army arrests curfew violators, more bodies recovered by Patrick J. McDonnell and Tracy Wilkinson from Santiago, Chile, and Mexico City.

Photo: A man pushes a coffin. Victims' bodies are lined up at a gym in Constitucion, Chile. Credit: Roberto Candia / Associated Press.


Photos: 8.8 earthquake rocks Chile.