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Temperatures cool, but death toll tops 1,000 in Pakistani heat wave

The toll from the sweltering heat wave in Pakistan's largest city continued to rise Thursday, surpassing more than 1,000 dead, according to state-run television, even as temperatures began to cool off.

The high temperature in Karachi was 100 degrees Fahrenheit, closer to seasonal averages and several degrees cooler than earlier in the week, as a sea breeze blew over the port city, officials said. The temperature had reached 113 degrees Sunday.

"The temperature will remain normal in the coming days," said Ghulam Rasool, head of Pakistan's government meteorological office.

The number of victims arriving at hospitals in the southern port city slowed considerably, although 35 bodies were received at morgues operated by the Edhi Welfare Organization, said the group's spokesman, Anwar Kazmi.

It was the lowest number of bodies seen all week at the morgues, which received 750 heat stroke victims over the last five days, Kazmi said.

State-run broadcaster PTV put the death toll at over 1,000.

Many people in predominantly Muslim Pakistan are observing the holy month of Ramadan, which requires abstaining from food and water from dawn until dusk. Religious scholars have asked devotees to break the fast if they feel ill effects from the heat.

Sahi is a special correspondent.

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