At least 14 people were killed after an avalanche hit a gold mine in a remote area of northern Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban, officials said on Friday.
Farid Nekfar, who heads the disaster management department of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, said efforts were ongoing to recover at least two bodies after the avalanche on Thursday afternoon.
“We are in contact with the locals and emergency teams. So far 12 dead bodies have been recovered from under the avalanche,” Nekfar told AFP.
“Unfortunately the area is under the control of the insurgents.”
Nek Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for Badakhshan’s governor, gave a slightly higher toll, saying 15 people had been killed.
Death tolls in remote areas of Afghanistan controlled by militants are notoriously difficult to confirm with access to government officials and aid agencies restricted.
Abdul Rahman, a resident from a nearby district, said he had two family members working at the mine when the avalanche struck, both of whom were killed. He said at least 15 of the 30 miners at the site had been killed.
Disasters such as avalanches and flash floods often hit mountainous areas of Afghanistan when the snow melts in the spring and summer.
Deforestation in the region has also made the area more vulnerable to such natural disasters.
More than 50 percent of Afghanistan is believed to be under the direct control or influence of the Taliban, who often rely on a variety of unregulated industries, including narcotics and mining, to help fund their insurgency.
Female doctor killed in Afghanistan roadside bombingA roadside bomb explosion killed a female doctor in the eastern city of Jalalabad, provincial officials said on Thursday, days after three female ... World News
Germany warns against premature withdrawal of foreign troops from AfghanistanGermany called on the international community to end the military mission in Afghanistan in a responsible way and avoid a premature withdrawal of ... World News
ISIS claims responsibility for killing of three media workers in eastern AfghanistanISIS claimed responsibility for an attack that killed three female media workers in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday evening.The militant group, which ... World News
German government agrees to extend by 10 months its military presence in AfghanistanThe German government on Wednesday agreed to extend by 10 months its military presence in Afghanistan, where it has the second largest contingent ... World News
Afghanistan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive, but faces challenges amid violenceAfghanistan began its first COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, administering doses initially to security force members, health workers and journalists, ... Coronavirus
US, Pakistan military officials meet over troop withdrawal from AfghanistanSenior US and Pakistani military officials spoke in Islamabad on Friday about the possibility of postponing the withdrawal of foreign forces from ... World News
No ‘disorderly’ US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Pentagon chief tells NATOThe United States will not make “disorderly” withdrawals from Afghanistan or Iraq, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Thursday, in an apparent jab at ... Middle East
Afghanistan peace talks under threat as Taliban gears up for major spring offensiveUnusually intense fighting in the winter by Taliban insurgents has spurred Afghan government preparations for more violence in the warmer spring,which ... World News