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Landslide in Afghanistan kills at least 350

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A landslide triggered by heavy rain buried about a third of a remote northeastern Afghan village on Friday, killing at least 350 people and leaving more than 2,000 missing. Villagers looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels and other equipment to help dig through the mass of mud that flattened the homes in its path.

The mountainous area in Badakhshan province has experienced frequent floods in recent days, and the side of the hill collapsed onto the village of Hobo Barik at about 1 p.m. Landslides and avalanches are frequent in Afghanistan, but Friday's was one of the deadliest.

Gov. Shah Waliullah Adeeb said more than 2,000 people were missing after a hill collapsed on the village of after days of heavy rain. Adeeb said the landslide buried some 300 homes in the area - about a third of all houses there.

Ari Gaitanis, a spokesman from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, said at least 350 people died in the landslide. He said the U.N. was working with authorities on the ground to rescue people still trapped.

The governor said rescue crews were working but didn't have enough equipment.

"It's physically impossible right now," Adeeb said. "We don't have enough shovels; we need more machinery."

Video footage of the scene showed how a large section of the mountain had simply slipped away sending mud and earth sliding through the village below.

The landslide was likely due to heavy rain in the area, said Abdullah Homayun Dehqan, the province's director for National Disaster Department. He said floods last week in different districts of the province killed four people and eight more were still missing.

The province normally has many landslides, but they generally occur in remote areas and produce no casualties, said Mohammad Usman Abu Zar from the Meteorology Department of Badakhshan province. He said authorities would investigate further, but initial reports indicated that the heavy rain was the cause.

Authorities evacuated a nearby village over concerns about further landslides, the governor said.

Provincial police chief Faziluddin Hayar said the landslide happened about 1 p.m. Friday. Friday is a day of worship in Afghanistan, so many families would have been at home instead of at work at the time.

Badakhshan province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country. The area has seen few attacks from insurgents following the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Afghans living in the rugged mountains of northern Afghanistan are used to avalanches as well. The most deadly one in the past two years occurred in February 2010, when more than 170 people were killed at the 12,700-foot (3,800-meter) -high Salang Pass, which is the major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.

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donahuepapad123 May 02 2014 at 4:58 PM

I HOPE and pray that all the children and people are found safe ,

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tcous13974 May 03 2014 at 8:38 AM

May a higher power is saying "CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?"

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Mike May 03 2014 at 6:29 AM

How awful that the entire country was not swallowed up.

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jjemder May 03 2014 at 5:58 AM

Gee, that's too bad.

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rivers360 May 03 2014 at 4:59 AM

Obama used the similar mud slide in Washington State for publicity. Mentioned it while overseas taking to the entire world. Finally cameto washington State to screw up traffic and take some selfie photos. What a sorry sorry excuse for a human.

I bet you $100 he isn't heading to Afganistan to show his support for the poor victims of this mud slide. I think he should, and I think he should stay there as part of one of his and Michelle many vactions, perhaps for the next 300 days, or so. I think there is a golf course there he can use. Maybe som Muslim friend he can catch up with. I don't see a down side.

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1 reply
ualfriend rivers360 May 03 2014 at 7:40 AM

and that concludes the fix news report

Flag Reply 0 rate up
MARCELLE NOSS May 03 2014 at 2:30 AM

The Afghans are awful people. May there many more events that take their lives.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
danclrksvll May 03 2014 at 1:21 AM

This is a golden opportunity to show the love of Christ and do the right thing. Our military should give all the assistance needed. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that we are to extend mercy to our enemies, to bind up the wounds of misunderstanding, and to minister to those in need, regardless of creed or race. In other words we are to walk the path of mercy the Savior walked. At the end of our mortal lives the qualities of Godly character that we have allowed God to mold within us is the only thing we can take with us. Everything else is just noise and stuff that has no eternal worth.

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4 replies
redbirdgunparts May 03 2014 at 1:05 AM

if you want to feel sorry for them go ahead - they will kill you just a soon as they can - no need to feel sorry foe the dead - everyone dies

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1 reply
Jim & Jillri redbirdgunparts May 03 2014 at 5:23 AM

Agreed! Well said, I beleive the same thing.

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knoxwarner May 03 2014 at 12:49 AM

We'll never know for sure, but it's probably global-warming related. There will be more.

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cloudsoaring1 May 03 2014 at 12:41 AM

Where is that 'ol Mohammed when you need him? Probably out beheading people all in the name of "religion".

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