At least six dead and more missing in Tajik mudslide

DUSHANBE Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:28am EDT

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DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Six children have been killed and at least seven people are missing and presumed dead as a result of a mudslide in south Tajikistan, an emergency ministry spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.

Landslides and spring floods are common in Tajikistan, the poorest country in Central Asia, as over 90 percent of its territory is mountainous.

The mudslide struck on Saturday night in a village around 230 km (150 miles) south of the Tajik capital Dushanbe, near the border with Afghanistan.

"The slide came in the middle of night which is why there are so many victims. We have recovered six bodies so far. They were all children," spokesman Orif Nozimov said.

Locals are working with emergency services to excavate a house buried in mud, Nozimov said, adding that the death toll could be higher than the 13 estimated so far.

(Reporting by Roman Kozhevnikov; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Andrew Roche)

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