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Day of mourning for victims of mudslide

The Afghan government has declared a day of national mourning for those killed when a mudslide engulfed their village.

engulfed: An Afghan woman cries after she lost her family in a landslide in Badakhshan province. Picture: Reuters
engulfed: An Afghan woman cries after she lost her family in a landslide in Badakhshan province. Picture: Reuters

Badakhshan provincial governor Shah Waliullah Adib said there was now no hope for more than 2,000 people believed buried in their homes. Officials formally ended the search for survivors on Saturday.

Mechanical diggers had left Ab Barik village without being used because the site was inaccessible.

At least 2,000 people were in their homes when a mountain collapsed and covered the area in mud and rocks.

A further 600 people are missing after rushing to help with the rescue effort and being caught in a second landslide.

Rudimentary efforts by locals to dig into the soft mud with shovels were quickly abandoned. A few hundred survivors spent a second night out in the open, although blankets, tents and basic food aid have now arrived. Locals who rushed to help were caught by a second landslide in the area

Hundreds of people have been left homeless after the landslide.

The affected area is in one of Afghanistan's poorest regions

One survivor, Zia ul-Haq, told reporters: "My family, including my child and all my belongings are buried here."

Another, Ataullah, said: "The mud was jumping down the mountain.

"It was terrifying. And when I rushed back and saw my house was entirely gone, I couldn't bear to go close."

Mountainous Badakhshan, which borders Tajikistan, China and Pakistan, is one of the poorest regions in Afghanistan.

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