10 dead, hundreds of houses destroyed in Afghan landslide

There were shouts that there was a flood, then people started to run away. (Shutterstock)
Updated 12 July 2018
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10 dead, hundreds of houses destroyed in Afghan landslide

  • At least 10 people killed, hundreds of homes destroyed in Afghanistan after melting snow triggers landslide
  • A mountain lake overflowed and sent water and mud cascading over Peshghor village

KABUL: At least 10 people were killed and hundreds of homes destroyed in a remote area of northeastern Afghanistan after melting snow triggered a landslide, officials said Thursday.
A mountain lake in Panjshir, a province north of Kabul known for its snowcapped peaks, overflowed and sent water and mud cascading over Peshghor village, Omar Mohammadi, spokesman for the disaster management ministry, told AFP.
Jamil Ahmad was lying in bed just before midnight when he said he heard a sound like “jets” flying overhead.
“Somebody shouted ‘Flood!’ and I ran away with my family to higher ground,” Ahmad told AFP by telephone.
“The people started firing (weapons) into the air to warn others about the flood.”
The water and mud had inundated most of the houses in the village, and destroyed a religious school, two mosques and the main market, Ahmad said.
“Three women from my neighborhood and two laborers who didn’t hear the warning were taken away by the flood,” Ahmad said.
Villagers had been worried about the possibility of landslides after several days of increasingly warm weather, Ahmad said.
Most survivors were staying on higher ground for fear of more, he added.
Photos posted on social media purportedly showed houses and farmland covered in water and mud after the Panjshir River broke its banks.
Villagers using shovels and other tools were desperately searching for survivors in the debris as rescue teams were deployed to the area, Mohammadi said.
“We have deployed everything at hand to help the people,” he said. “Some people are missing.”
Disasters such as avalanches and flash floods often hit in mountainous areas of Afghanistan as snow melts in the spring and summer. It is made worse by deforestation.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who is in Brussels for the NATO summit, said he was “deeply saddened” by the latest natural disaster.
“A number of people have lost their lives” in the landslide, Ghani said in a statement.
He ordered “relevant authorities to provide urgent assistance to the affected people.”
The landslide comes as the country is in the grip of a nearly 17-year war between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.


China: US has ‘no right’ to interfere in Russia military cooperation

Updated 22 September 2018
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China: US has ‘no right’ to interfere in Russia military cooperation

  • The US would face “consequences” if it did not immediately revoke the sanctions
  • The US State Department imposed sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department

SHANGHAI/BEIJING: China’s decision to buy fighter jets and missile systems from Russia is a normal act of cooperation between sovereign countries and the United States has “no right to interfere,” defense ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Saturday.
On Thursday, the US State Department imposed sanctions on China’s Equipment Development Department (EED), the branch of the military responsible for weapons procurement, after it engaged in “significant transactions” with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms exporter.
The sanctions are related to China’s purchase of 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system-related equipment in 2018, the State Department said.
The sanctions will block the EED and its director, Li Shangfu, from applying for export licenses and participating in the US financial system.
“The US approach is a blatant violation of the basic norms of international relations, a full manifestation of hegemony, and a serious breach of the relations between the two countries and their two militaries,” Wu said in a notice posted on the Chinese defense ministry’s official Wechat account.
He warned that the United States would face “consequences” if it did not immediately revoke the sanctions.