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EU calls for international assistance for quake-stricken Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, June 22 (KUNA) -- The European Union Wednesday expressed full solidarity with the Afghan people following a powerful earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan overnight and said the country needs international assistance.
"International assistance will be needed to help those Afghans who have lost their loved ones, their homes and need aid," said EU High Representative Josep Borrell in a statement tonight.
He noted that the earthquake comes at a time when the country continues to face one of the worldآ’s worst humanitarian crises with large-scale humanitarian needs, displacement and a severe food crisis.
"The European Union stands in full solidarity with the Afghan people and will provide assistance to those in need. Through the EU Humanitarian Office in the country, we are in constant contact with our humanitarian partners and offer all operational support necessary," he said.
A powerful earthquake of magnitude 5.9 on the Richter scale struck eastern Afghanistan overnight with tremors felt as far as neighbouring Pakistan. The full extent of the number of casualties and damage caused by the earthquake is still unknown - however first reports indicate that over a thousand people have lost their lives and many more are injured. (end) nk