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A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has hit a rural part of northern Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, causing widespread death and devastation. At the time of writing, 1,000 people have been reported killed and 1,500 injured, according to state media reports. The earthquake, which had its epicenter approximately 50km southwest of Khost, could be felt as far away as Islamabad.

A widespread relief effort is now underway to treat survivors. Helicopters carrying medics and medical supplies have been deployed owing to the remoteness of the Paktika province. Videos have shown survivors being treated with IV fluids and thermal blankets and have also shown the near destruction of many buildings in the area. Kitchen kits and emergency tents have also been dispatched. The Taliban have called on aid agencies around the world to join in the relief effort.

The current figures put the quake as the deadliest since 1998, when 4,500 were killed. Officials expect the death toll of the current earthquake to rise, owing to the geography of the area.


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