At least 20 dead in Nepal flood, 44 missing

KATHMANDU Mon May 7, 2012 7:55am EDT

1 of 3. A shoe is pictured at an area that used to be a small village, swiped away by a flash flood caused by an avalanche in the Annapurna mountain range on Saturday, in Kaski district May 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar

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KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Rescuers dug through mud and debris on Monday searching for bodies after a flashflood swept through west Nepal killing at least 20 people and leaving dozens missing, police said.

A torrent of water swept away scores of houses, vehicles and a bridge near the resort town of Pokhara, about 125 km (80 miles) west of Kathmandu, after an avalanche which had blocked the Seti River gave way.

Forty-four people, including three Ukrainian tourists, were still missing after the flood hit on Saturday, police said.

Pokhara is the second-biggest city of Nepal after Kathmandu and is the gateway to Mount Annapurna, the world's 10th-highest peak. Tourists begin their trek to the scenic Annapurna region from Pokhara.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

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