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Flash floods kill over 50 in in north Afghanistan

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Flash floods have killed more than 50 people in northern Afghanistan, washing away hundreds of houses and forcing thousands to flee, provincial authorities said on Saturday.

"Heavy torrential rains followed by flash floods have killed more than 50 people in Guzargah-e-Nur district of Baghlan province," Mahmood Haqmal, spokesman for the provincial governor, told AFP.

"We have recovered more than 50 bodies from the rubble, including the bodies of women and children, but many others are still missing," Haqmal said.

It was an initial death toll, he said, warning it could rise.

Guzargah-e-Nur district governor Noor Mohammad Guzar told AFP the death toll was 66.

"Yesterday's floods have destroyed four villages, and washed away 2,000 residential houses, agricultural fields and also killed thousands of cattle," Guzar added.

Last month a landslide triggered by heavy rains buried a village in a remote area of northeast Badakhshan province killing at least 300 people.

The May 2 disaster in left hundreds of families homeless in Argu district of the mountainous province which borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan.

The floods and landslides follow recent severe flooding in other parts of northern Afghanistan, with 159 people dead and 71,000 people affected by floods in Jowzjan, Faryab and Sar-e-Pul provinces.

Flooding and landslides often occur during the spring rainy season in northern Afghanistan, with flimsy mud houses offering little protection against rising water levels and torrents of mud.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140607/flash-floods-kill-over-50-north-afghanistan-0