More than 1,000 people were killed in Afghanistan after a powerful earthquake hit the country on Wednesday, media reports said.
An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck southeastern Afghanistan.
A severe earthquake struck in the early hours of this morning near the city of Khost in the southeastern part of the country.
The most affected areas are in Spera District in Khost Province, and Barmala, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts in Paktika Province. "We have over 1,000 dead and over 1,500 wounded. Many villages were destroyed," Amin Huzaifa, the head of the culture and information department of the Paktika province, told Sputnik.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that an emergency cabinet meeting was held today to discuss assistance for the people affected by the earthquake. A UN agency said Afghanistan had asked humanitarian agencies to help with rescue efforts, and teams were being dispatched to the quake-hit area.
It is the deadliest earthquake to strike Afghanistan in two decades and a major challenge for the Taliban, the Islamist movement which regained power last year after the Western-backed government collapsed.
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