A landslide in a remote, Taliban-controlled district in northeastern Afghanistan killed at least six people, all of them poor villagers mining the hillside for gold, officials said Thursday.
The landslide took place on Wednesday in the district of Raghistan in Badakhshan province, said provincial council member Abdullah Naji Nazari. The province, nestled in the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges and bordering China, is one of the most remote in the country.The six were among dozens of villagers who were digging for gold in the area, a common practice among the villagers in the impoverished region. The area, rich in gold, has been under Taliban control since 2015. Many of the illegal mines are run by the Taliban to fund their insurgency.
More than 30 villagers were injured and were missing for hours, buried under the mud and debris after the landslide, Nazari said.
Landslides are common and often deadly in Afghanistan. In 2014, also in Badakhshan, a landslide triggered by heavy rain killed at least 350 people and left more than 2,000 missing. And a landslide in Baghlan province, also in northeastern Afghanistan, killed 71 people in 2012.