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Over 280 killed, hundreds injured as earthquake hits Afghanistan province

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Over 280 killed, hundreds injured as earthquake hits Afghanistan province

More than 280 people have been killed with hundreds of others injured and displaced as a powerful earthquake ripped through the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktika, the Asian country’s state news agency reports.

According to the report, the earthquake occurred in the early hours of Wednesday as the people were still in their beds which made it impossible for many of the victims to escape.

The local Bakhtar News Agency said the earthquake which caused a serious landslide in the area, struck about 44km (27 miles) from the south-eastern city of Khost shortly after 01:30 local time, adding that the death toll was likely to rise, with more than 600 people confirmed injured so far.

The Agency said in remote areas, helicopters had been ferrying victims to hospitals but the rescue efforts were being hampered by bad weather.

Read also: Taliban orders Afghanistan women to wear burkas in public

“Unfortunately, last night there was a severe earthquake in four districts of Paktika province, which killed and injured hundreds of our countrymen and destroyed dozens of houses,” government spokesman Bilal Karimi wrote in a tweet on Wednesday morning.

“We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe,” he added.

Most of the casualties so far were in the Gayan and Barmal districts in Paktika, a local doctor told the BBC, while another local media site, Etilaat-e Roz, reported a whole village in Gayan had been destroyed.

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