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950 people killed in Afghan earthquake, number expected to rise

Disaster management officials reported that a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck Afghanistan early on Wednesday. More than 600 people were also injured, and as news from isolated mountain villages trickles in, the death toll is expected to rise.


Images posted on Afghan media showed houses in ruins and victims laying on the ground covered in blankets.


According to Salahuddin Ayubi, a spokesman with the interior ministry, helicopters were used in the rescue effort to provide food and medical supplies to the injured.


“Since some of the communities are in isolated mountainous areas and it will take some time to gather details, the death toll is sure to grow.”


The earthquake on Wednesday was the deadliest since 2002. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) reported that it struck around 44 km (27 miles) from the southeast Afghan city of Khost, close to the Pakistani border.


According to Ayubi, the majority of the reported fatalities occurred in the eastern province of Paktika, where 255 people were killed and more than 200 were hurt. There were 25 fatalities and 90 hospitalizations in the province of Khost.


The Taliban’s top leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, expressed his sympathy in a statement.


The Taliban, who took control of the nation in August and are cut off from much outside support due to sanctions, may face a significant challenge mounting a rescue effort.


About 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India reported feeling the trembling, according to the EMSC on Twitter, but there were no initial reports of property damage or injuries in Pakistan.


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