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At least 5 killed, 35 others missing in gold mine landslide in Badakhshan, Afghanistan

at-least-5-killed-35-others-missing-in-gold-mine-landslide-in-badakhshan-afghanistan

At least five people were killed and 35 others are missing after a landslide hit a gold mine in the Badakshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, on Wednesday, December 11, 2019.

According to official reports on Thursday, December 12, all of the victims were poor villagers mining the hillside for gold, which is a common practice among the villagers in the impoverished site.

"The fate of [the] other 35 workers remain unknown," said Nek Mohammad Nazari, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The province situated in the mountain ranges of Hindu Kush and Pamir, bordering China. The district is one of the most remote areas in the country and has been under Taliban control since 2015.

Nazari said since the landslide happened on the Taliban-controlled territory, the local government cannot conduct search and rescue operations. Many of the illegal mines are run by the Taliban to fund their insurgency.

Landslides are a common occurrence in Afghanistan, also often fatal. In 2014, a heavy rain-induced landslide killed at least 350 people and left more than 2 000 people missing in Badakhshan.

In 2012, a landslide in Baghlan province, which is also in northeastern Afghanistan, claimed 71 lives.

Featured image credit: @TOLOnews/Twitter

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