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Quake Kills Five In Southeast Afghanistan

22 October 2005 -- Five people have been reported killed following an earthquake in Afghanistan's southeastern Paktika Province, on the border with Pakistan, RFE/RL's Afghan Service reported.

Defense Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi told RFE/RL that national army troops have begun rescue operations.

"At about 6:30 this morning, there was an earthquake in the Shinkay area of the Urgon district of Paktika Province," Azimi said. "Afghan National Army troops in the area quickly moved to rescue people. They have reported that five people were killed, and six people received serious injuries. Six villages in the area have been affected."

Two Afghans were killed in the massive earthquake that struck South Asia on 8 October, killing well over 40,000 people in neighboring Pakistan and leaving tens of thousands injured or homeless.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been expected to leave tomorrow for Pakistan on a state visit to express his condolences to the victims of the 8 October earthquake.

Karzai was expected to meet with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, and others. Discussions were expected to center on the ongoing international rescue and relief operations in the affected areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan's assistance to the victims.