Heavy snow kills 16 in Afghanistan

2012-01-17 11:34

Kabul - Heavy snow and avalanches have killed at least 16 people in mountainous north-eastern Afghanistan, leaving dozens more trapped in their homes, an official said on Tuesday.

A week of heavy snowfall cut off main roads in remote Badakhshan province, making it difficult for rescue workers to reach affected villages.

"So far 16 people have been killed as a result of heavy snow and avalanches in at least six districts of Badakhshan," provincial spokesperson Abdul Mahroof Rasikh said.

Twelve districts remain unreachable, but rescue teams made it to Ishkashim district where around 70 families are still trapped under snow, he added.

Heavy snowfall and avalanches kill scores of people in Afghanistan each winter.

In 2010, avalanches killed more than 150 people in the high-altitude Salang pass through the Hindu Kush mountain range that connects Kabul to the north.