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Severe earthquake kills over 255 people in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD, June 22 (KUNA) -- At least 255 people were killed and hundreds of others received injuries when an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 rocked many parts of Afghanistan, said officials on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters, the head of the Taliban administration's disaster management authority, Mohammad Nassim Haqqani said that the majority of confirmed deaths were in the province of Paktika, where 100 people were killed and 250 others injured.
He further said that deaths were also reported in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar and Khost as authorities checked for further casualties.
According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake occurred about 44 kilometres from the city of Khost, near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, at a depth of 51 km. The tremors were felt in Afghan capital city Kabul, Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Paktika, Paktia, Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.
The state-run Bakhtar news agency also confirmed the death toll saying that 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens of people are believed trapped under the rubble.
Deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, Bilal Karimi said: "A severe earthquake shook four districts of Paktika province, killing and injuring hundreds of our countrymen and destroying dozens of houses." The rescue teams are reaching the affected areas and the death toll is feared to rise, he said.
Tremors were also felt in Pakistanآ’s federal capital Islamabad, Peshawar city, Lahore, Kohat, Mohmand, Swat, Buner and other parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. No loss of life has been reported yet.
Earlier in 2015, over 200 people were killed in Afghanistanآ’s north eastern region due to a major earthquake in the country. (end) sbk.mt