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Death Toll From Avalanches In Afghanistan Rises To At Least 119


An Afghan man sits on a snow-covered road after heavy snowfall on the outskirst of Kabul

Afghan officials are working to reach remote villages after avalanches and heavy snow killed at least 119 people around the country.

Officials said a storm dumped as much as 2 meters of snow on many areas of Afghanistan over the weekend.

Wais Ahmad Barmak, minister for disaster management, said on February 6 that at least 89 people had been injured and 190 homes destroyed by avalanches in 22 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces over the past three days.

Those figures were expected to rise as rescue teams make their way through snow-blocked roads to afflicted areas.

"There is a possibility that some people still could be trapped in some areas and we do not have information yet," he said.

Many of the fatalities were in Nuristan Province, near the Pakistani border, where two villages were buried in snow.

On February 5, Afghanistan's government declared a public holiday due to the heavy snowfall across the country.

The United Nations has offered its assistance.

The UN humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan, Mark Bowden, said the Afghan government "has quickly mobilized to respond to the disaster."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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