International News

At Least 155 Children Killed In Afghan Earthquake, Says UN

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The earthquake that hit southeastern Afghanistan last week has killed at least 155 children, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordination organization, the OCHA, said in an update on June 26.

The OCHA said that another 250 children were injured in the magnitude 6 quake that struck the mountainous villages in the Paktika and Khost provinces near the country’s border with Pakistan, flattening homes and triggering landslides.

Most of the children died in Paktika’s hard-hit Giyan district, which remains a scene of life in ruins, days after the quake.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have put the total death toll from the quake at 1,150, with hundreds more injured.

The UN has offered a lower estimate of 770, although it has warned that the figure could still rise.

Another 65 children have reportedly been orphaned or left unaccompanied as a result of the disaster, the OCHA added.

The earthquake has highlighted even more the weaknesses of Afghanistan’s hard-line government and its isolation over human rights abuses since the Taliban swept to power after U.S.-led international troops withdrew from the country and the UN-backed Afghan government collapsed in August.

The UN children’s agency said on June 27 that it was working to reunite children that had been separated from their families in the chaos of the quake.

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