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Day of mourning for Afghanistan landslide victims

Day of mourning for Afghanistan landslide victims
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Afghanistan is holding a day of mourning for the victims of a double landslide that turned a northeastern village into a cemetery.

The search for survivors has been called off and the focus is on helping the injured and displaced.

The provincial governor of Badakhshan said there was no hope for more than 2,000 people believed buried.

However subsequent estimates have since suggested a much lower figure of several hundred for the number of dead and missing.

Hundreds of homes were crushed when mud cascaded down from a hillside. As people rushed to the scene to help, many were then engulfed in a second landslide.

“After the landslide happened, I came here along with my friends to rescue our relatives but we couldn’t rescue them. A huge number of people have been killed and a number of others are trapped under the mud,” said Mullah Abdul Aziz, a local resident.

The UN has said its agencies are ready to help Afghan relief efforts for those who lost their homes, and to work to improve protection against natural disasters.

Flooding and landslides are common in the springtime rainy season.

The US and the EU have also said they are ready to send aid.

The village of Ab Barik which lies in a poor mountainous region bordering Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.

The Taliban have promised not to disrupt relief efforts in the area, in which their presence is limited.

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