March 5, 2021
ISLAMABAD – An avalanche in Afghanistan’s northeastern Badakhshan province killed at least 14 and injured scores of others Thursday.
The area in Raghistan district is under Taliban control, hampering rescue efforts. Nek Mohammad, spokesman for the provincial government, said several people were missing since the avalanche hit Zarandab village.
He said communication was cut off and for now the government was not clear whether the ones killed were villagers or people trying to excavate gold from local mines.
The head of the provincial council, Dr. Basher Samem, said the information available was still preliminary and the number of casualties might rise. He also said a number of people were still buried in the snow.
Several dozen people died in Badakhshan in 2019 when a mine collapsed. Many of the mines around Afghanistan are poorly maintained.
Illegal mining remains common in Afghanistan where conflict and high unemployment forces people to find whatever means possible to earn an income.