Afghanistan village to become a mass grave

As search and rescue efforts wind down in the Abe Barik village, which was consumed by a landslide, it is announced it will become a mass grave

As search and rescue efforts wind down in the Abe Barik village, which was consumed by a landslide, it is announced it will become a mass grave

BADAKHSHAN, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili said Saturday that there are plans to possibly turn the landslide-hit Abe Barik village in the Argo district of northern Badakhshan province into a mass grave as there will be no more search and rescue efforts.

Early Friday afternoon, a massive landslide triggered by recent heavy rainfall swallowed the village burying thousands under mud and rock.

After surveying the disaster area and meeting those affected, Khalili said, "As the state authorities, we will launch efforts to transport the risky houses in the region to an appropriate and safer place."

He did not give any exact number of dead people but just said “at least 300 families are buried under earth," adding that only 255 of the dead bodies have been identified so far.

Meanwhile, Noor Mohammad Khawari, head of the Badakhshan central hospital told Anadolu Agency that it would be tragic if the locals agreed to the village becoming a mass grave although he said it would require an extraordinary effort driving by a big number of professionals and machinery to find the buried individuals.

“Now they are discussing securing the scene from the threat of floods so that members of the victim families can come here to prayer” Khawari added.

In a statement released from his office late Saturday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he was deeply saddened after hearing the news of the landslide.

The Afghan government has also announced a day of national mourning in the country.

Approximately 300 houses have been consumed by the landslide the statement added and at least 700 more families have evacuated the area due to the danger of more landslides.

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