Hundreds dead and injured after earthquake in Afghanistan

An earthquake hit the eastern Afghan province of Paktika badly, killing hundreds and injuring many.

Hundreds of people were killed and injured in a violent earthquake in the Afghan-Pakistani border region. So far, 255 fatalities and 500 injuries have been counted in the provinces of Paktika and Khost, Afghan government spokesman Mohammed Naim said on Twitter on Wednesday. The state news agency Bakhtar reported 280 dead.

A spokesman for the ruling Taliban said dozens of houses had been destroyed in Paktika and Khost provinces. Local media reported that one village was completely destroyed.

“It is possible that these numbers will increase,” Kabul government spokesman Bilal Karimi said on Twitter on Wednesday. “We call on the aid organizations to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the earthquake in order to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.” Photos in the online networks show collapsed houses in the streets of a village. Videos also show residents of affected areas bringing the injured to a helicopter.

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