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Death toll in remote Afghan village could total 2,700

Monday, May 05, 2014 - 01:23

May 5 - United Nations puts the death toll from Friday's landslide in Afghanistan at up to 500 but local officials say the number in Aab Bareek village could be as high as 2,700. Sarah Toms reports.

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Afghans dig for bodies after a massive landslide slammed into their village in the remote northeast. After a week of heavy rain, the side of this mountain collapsed, engulfing the village in Badakhstan province taking hundreds, possibly thousands of lives. (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) RESIDENT GHULAM HUSSIAN, SAYING: "Out of the total of my 15 family members that were living here only one of them is alive. He was not here when the landslide took place, he was in Kabul. Eight members from my cousin's family are trapped over there, and about 16 other relatives are under the mud. We demand the government bring bulldozers here in order to take the bodies out from under the mud." But the official search and rescue operation for survivors has been abandoned and officials say it is impossible to retrieve the bodies buried in up to 50 metres of mud. Prayers are offered for the dead as the area becomes a mass grave. Villagers who have lost everything sleep out in tents in near freezing conditions. One member of parliament hands out money. Thousands of families are in desperate need of help and hundreds of other homes are at risk of another possible landslide.

Death toll in remote Afghan village could total 2,700

Monday, May 05, 2014 - 01:23

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