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Afghanistan Avalanche Strikes Remote Villages; Dozens Feared Trapped In Snow

By AMIR SHAH 03/12/12 04:08 AM ET AP

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An avalanche struck two remote villages in northeast Afghanistan on Monday and 45 people were feared trapped in the snow, authorities said.

The avalanche hit the villages of Poshan and Ghadoor in Mondol district of Nuristan province, said provincial spokesman Mohammad Zareen.

"We are not sure how many died and how many survived," he said. "There is no rescue team there yet."

Avalanches are common in the mountainous northern provinces, but extremely heavy snowfall this year has resulted in more avalanches than normal. At least 50 people died March 4 in an avalanche in Badakhshan province.

Zareen said that nearby villagers were working to try to locate victims and survivors in Monday's avalanche.

"It's not enough," he said. "We are calling for more help."

He said it is not possible to access the villages from Nuristan – that rescuers would have to go through neighboring Kunar or Laghman provinces to get to the area.

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Filed by Jade Walker  |