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Dozens dead in flash floods in northern Afghanistan

Deadly floods have swept through three provinces in northern Afghanistan. At least 80 people have died and scores are still missing after the floods were triggered by heavy rain.

Officials said on Friday more than 40 people were killed in floods in the districts of Qosh Tepa, Darzab and Khoja Do Koh, in Jowzjan province.

"We have so far found 26 bodies including 15 children and five women in Sheberghan city," deputy governor Abdul Rahman Mahmoudi told the DPA news agency.

Mahmoudi also said more bodies were discovered in other districts following the floods which struck overnight on Friday, after two days of torrential rain.

"Nine villages I saw in Darzab district were destroyed," he added.

In the neighboring Sar-e Pul province, six people are reported to have died with a further 17 still missing.

Death toll expected to rise in Faryab

In the third affected province of Faryab, the authorities said more than 30 people had died and that many villages had been flattened in the area.

Faryab governor Mohammadullah Batash said the death toll in the province, which borders Turkmenistan, was expected to rise.

"We have a confirmed toll of 33 people dead and 2,152 houses destroyed, several districts have been badly affected," he said. "Rain is still continuing, which is hampering relief efforts."

An estimated 7,000 people are reported to have been displaced in the flash floods, described by the authorities as the worst in thirty years.

The floodwaters destroyed farmland and killed thousands of animals across the three provinces.

At least 80 people are believed to have been killed in total, but the death toll is expected to rise as the helicopter search for survivors continues.

lw/jr (AFP, dpa)