Page last updated at 06:52 GMT, Monday, 19 April 2010 07:52 UK

'Seven dead' as earthquake rocks Afghanistan


At least 11 people were killed and more than 70 injured when an earthquake shook parts of northern Afghanistan, officials say

The Samangan province deputy governor said the quake hit just before midnight local time on Sunday.

Samangan is 190km (120 miles) north-west of the capital Kabul and the same distance from Mazar-e-Sharif city.

The 5.7 magnitude quake occurred at a depth of 10km, the US Geological Survey reported.

It was felt in Kabul and the neighbouring countries of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Earthquake region

Deputy governor Ghulam Sakhi Baghlani told the BBC that the casualties were in the Dara-e-Suf district of Samangan and that the toll could rise.

He added that 300 houses were damaged and hundreds of cattle killed.

Landslides sparked by the quake had blocked roads, making even more arduous what was already an eight-hour drive along winding mountain trails from the provincial capital of Aybak, the Associated Press said.

Three civil defence units had been sent to check on the damage and casualties.

Earthquakes are common in Afghanistan and particularly in the Hindu Kush region.

In 2002, a 5.3 quake in Baghlan province, which is next to Samangan, killed about 1,000 people.

And in 1998, two earthquakes measuring 5.9 and 6.6. killed more than 6,000 people along the border with Tajikistan.

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