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Confirmed deaths near 2,000, still more likely in Indonesia

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The confirmed death toll from the devastating earthquake and tsunami on Sulawesi island neared 2,000 on Monday, but thousands more remained unaccounted for and officials have said search teams planned to stop looking for victims later this week.

The official toll hit 1,944, mostly in the hard-hit city of Palu, said Jamaluddin, an official from the disaster task force who uses one name.

But disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said a day earlier that many victims could still be buried in deep mud in areas where the Sept. 28 quake caused loose, wet soil to liquefy and swallow entire neighborhoods.

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