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Afghanistan floods kill at least 153, Taliban interior ministry says

THE official death toll from devastating flash floods in northern Afghanistan has risen to 153 people across three provinces, the Taliban’s interior ministry said, while the World Food Programme said it was double that.

The WFP, which operates throughout Afghanistan, said on X that floods had killed more than 300 people. It did not give a source for its figure.

When asked about the WFP figure, a ministry spokesperson said its figure was still 153 – but the authorities have said the death toll could rise.

At least 138 people have also been injured in the flooding across northern Baghlan, Takhar and Badakhshan, caused by heavy rains on Friday, the ministry spokesman, Abdul Mateen Qaniee, said.

In Karkar village in Baghlan province, residents held funerals for people who had been killed by the floods.

“I lost five members of my family – two sons, two daughters, and their mother in a result of this devastating flash flood,” said Gulbudeen, a mourner who provided only one name.

“We were standing on the other side of the flood, but we could not help them, and eventually the flood took the lives of our loved ones.”

Taliban authorities sent helicopters to try to assist civilians overnight after receiving reports that over 100 people were stranded.

Many people had been left homeless and transportation, water and waste systems were “severely disrupted”, the World Health Organisation said.

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“The impact has been profound, leading to loss of life and injuries, with many individuals still unaccounted for,” the WHO’s Afghanistan office said in a statement late on Friday.

It added that four health centres had been damaged and one destroyed by the floods and said the agency was sending health teams to provide treatment in the inundated areas.

By SAYED HASSIB and MOHAMMAD YUNUS YAWAR

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