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ISLAMABAD (Kyodo) Seven Japanese tourists and their guide who were rescued by a military helicopter from flood-hit northeastern Pakistan arrived safely late Monday in Islamabad.

The country’s worst flooding since 1929 has killed more than 1,100 people and left at least 1 million in need of emergency assistance, according to the United Nations.

“We are relieved to have safely returned” to the capital, one of the tourists said.

The tour was organized by guide Osamu Funao, 49, of Oita Prefecture, with six women and one man in their 60s and 70s from Tokyo and Aomori, Saitama, Hyogo, Fukuoka and Kumamoto prefectures.

The eight arrived in Pakistan on July 12, planning to hike in northern mountains with a local guide.

They had planned to leave the country last Thursday, but heavy rains started a day earlier and flights were canceled. The group headed for Islamabad by land but got stranded at a hotel in the Kohistan district of Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Province because of mudslides and washed-out bridges.

“I never expected to be rescued by a helicopter,” said Funao.

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