Freezing cold kills over 900 people in Afghanistan

Updated: 2008-02-16 20:06

KABUL -- Persistent cold snap and snowfall have claimed the lives of more than 900 people over the past six weeks in the war-ravaged Afghanistan, a government official said Saturday.

Reports collected by authorities till Saturday indicated that 926 people including women and children have lost their lives and 231 others sustained injuries due to the ongoing bitter cold across the country, Amir Jan, an official with Anti-Disaster Directorate told Xinhua.

Some of the injured have been left to amputate their fingers and toes because of cold-caused injuries, according to doctors in western Herat province.

Most of the affected belong to the western Herat province, Jan said, adding that also a number of poor people were reported affected in the northern provinces of Jauzjan, Sar-e-Pul and Faryab.

The official further said that 316,055 heads of cattle died due to cold in the Central Asian country.

The cold wave and snowfall starting from early January is continuing in major parts of the country and, according to local elders, is unprecedented over the past 20 years.

The Afghan government with the support of international community has distributed 52 million Afghanis (around one million U.S. dollars) worth of humanitarian aid to the affected areas but the locals are calling for more assistance.

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