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Cold snap kills 760 in Afghanistan


KABUL (AFP) — More than 750 people have died in the harshest winter to have hit Afghanistan in decades, the disaster authority said Saturday.

More than 500 homes, mostly traditional mud brick houses, have been destroyed and tens of thousands damaged by the heaviest snowfalls in 30 years, said Ahmad Shkeb Hamraz, an official at the National Disaster Management Authority.

Nearly half the villages in the poverty-stricken country were still cut off from major cities, he told AFP.

"According to the latest figures, about 760 people have died since the start of the winter across the country," Hamraz said. "The figures are likely to increase as more information and data are being collected," he added.

Thousands of livestock have also died of the cold, Hamraz said, adding the western region bordering Iran was hardest hit.

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