Afghanistan earthquake kills 280 people; dozens wounded in horror shake

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At least 280 people have been killed and many more wounded by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that struck Afghanistan early on Wednesday.

The quake struck around 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, at a depth of 51 km, the US Geological Survey said.

A resident of the Afghan capital, Kabul, posted on the website of the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC), describing “strong and long jolts”.

“It was strong,” said a resident of the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

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Shaking was felt by about 119 million people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, the EMSC said on Twitter.

The state-run Bakhtar news agency reported a death toll of at least 255 early on Wednesday morning and said rescuers were arriving by helicopter.

Abdul Wahid Rayan, the news agency’s director-general, wrote on Twitter that 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika.

And photographs on Afghan media showed crumbled houses.

Dozens of people were believed to have been trapped under the rubble.

The head of the Taliban administration’s natural disaster ministry, Mohammad Nassim Haqqani, said the majority of deaths were in the province of Paktika.

Investigations were being conducted to determine if there were more casualties, he said.

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