Afghan president tours site of horrific landslide to pledge aid to survivors

The Associated Press
May 7, 2014 02:11 AM

Survivors of Friday's landslide participate in a rally after police fired in the air to disperse a crowd that had rushed toward a truck carrying aid, near the site of Abi Barik village in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Many Abi Barik villagers have complained that aid has been slow to arrive while officials have said their efforts have been complicated by villagers from nearby areas coming to get handouts. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

KABUL - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday toured the site of last week's horrific landslide in the country's remote northeast, pledging to provide relief to families displaced by the disaster that killed hundreds of people.

Karzai's office said he met the victims in the village of Abi Barik in Badakhshan province, where around 700 families were forced to flee their homes due to the possibility of further landslides and flooding.

During the visit, Karzai spoke with villagers being housed in tents and also promised to rebuild homes for the landslide's survivors.

Aid groups and the government have rushed to the remote province bordering Tajikistan and China with food, shelter and water. But those affected have complained that help has been slow to arrive.

Authorities have yet to provide an exact figure on the number of people killed in the May 2 landslide, and estimates have ranged from 250 to 2,700. Officials say it will be impossible to dig up all the bodies buried deep under a sea of mud.

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