July 12, 2018 / 7:36 AM / 5 days ago

Afghan villagers search for survivors after landslide destroys nearly 300 homes

KABUL (Reuters) - A landslide destroyed nearly 300 homes, killing at least 10 people, as it swept through an Afghan village where residents were using only basic digging tools to search for survivors, officials said.

Two helicopters with a rescue team and emergency aid flew to the northeastern province of Panjshir where disaster struck on Wednesday night, officials said.

Top priority was to save those trapped in the debris after the landslide hit Peshghor village in Khenj district, Omar Mohammadi, spokesman for the National Disaster Management Authority, said on Thursday.

Several regions of Afghanistan regularly suffer landslides when snow melts in the spring, but deforestation in some parts has increased their frequency.

President Ashraf Ghani, in Brussels for the NATO summit, ordered authorities to provide victims with necessary assistance, his office said in a statement.

Reporting by Qadir Sediqi, Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Nick Macfie

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