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Kyrgyzstan Holds National Day Of Mourning For Landslide Victims

Rescue workers search for victims of a landslide that killed at least 24 people in southern Kyrgyzstan on April 29.

Kyrgyzstan is holding a national day of mourning on April 30 to commemorate at least 24 people killed a day earlier when a landslide swept through their village in the country's south.

Flags were flown at half-staff and all entertainment events were canceled across the country.

The Emergencies Ministry said nine children were among those buried in the village of Ayu in the Osh Province on April 29.

Search and rescue operations involving more than 400 people resumed in the morning on April 30 but were temporarily halted by snowfall and rains in the area, local media reported.

President Almazbek Atambaev made an emotional video appeal posted to the presidential YouTube channel, saying villagers had been warned earlier in the week of possible mudslides. He called on people to heed experts' warnings.

The Central Asian nation, 95 percent of which is mountainous, has seen heavy snows and rains this winter.Emergency Minister Kubatbek Boronov told RFE/RL that more than 5,000 places around the country faced a real threat of landslides or flooding.

The Ayu landslide is the country's deadliest since 2004 when a mudslide killed 33 people.

With reporting by,,