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Death toll From Afghan Avalanches rises

Latest World News /KABUL: The death toll from a series of avalanches rose to at least 56 in remote villages of northeastern Afghanistan on Saturday after locals pulled more bodies from the snow, officials said.

Death toll from Afghan avalanches

The worst hit was Shirin Nazem village, home to more than 200 people in Shekay district of the mountainous Badakhshan province, which was buried after days of heavy snowfall were followed by a rise in temperature.

At least 50 of the 56 dead were recovered in the district, the provincial governor’s spokesman, Abdul Maroof Rasekh, told AFP.

On Wednesday, officials had put the death toll at 42 and there are still fears that the toll could rise further as survivors move to safer districts, said Rasekh.

“Among 56 deaths, 18 were women and the rest are men and children,” the spokesman said.

The Geneva-based Agha Khan Foundation, the UN Food Programme and the US embassy have donated food and medicines to the affected families.

More remote parts of the province remain unreachable, except by road from Tajikistan or by helicopter, hampering rescue efforts.

Afghanistan’s harshest winter in 15 years has already claimed scores of lives, with the avalanches taking the toll to more than 90 in Badakhshan alone.

Thirty-five children died over two days in remote districts of Badakhshan last month after roads to districts were blocked by heavy snow, officials said.

And in Kabul, 24 children died in refugee camps on the outskirts of the capital, according to officials.

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