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Afghan leader tries to calm landslide victims angered by slow aid

Published on May 7, 2014 8:15 PM
 
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (right) talks with displaced villagers during a visit to the site of a deadly landslide in Aab Bareek village in the Argo district of Badakhshan on May 7, 2014. Mr Karzai visited a refugee camp for victims of a deadly landslide on Wednesday, trying to calm villagers angered by the slow delivery of emergency aid and an initial government refusal to help retrieve bodies. -- PHOTO: AFP

AAB BAREEK, Afghanistan (REUTERS) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai visited a refugee camp for victims of a deadly landslide on Wednesday, trying to calm villagers angered by the slow delivery of emergency aid and an initial government refusal to help retrieve bodies.

More than 4,000 villagers were displaced by Friday's disaster, which buried some 300 homes in the northern village of Aab Bareek in up to 50 metres of mud, killing hundreds, and left nearly 700 other houses uninhabitable.

Aid agencies have rushed tonnes of emergency supplies to the capital of Badakhshan province but distribution has been hindered by scuffles between the victims, the poor from nearby villages and security forces.

Mr Karzai made his first direct comments on the disaster, and offered prayers at the site of the landslide. "My minister of rural development will remain here and will build you new shelters, provide you with food and water and won't leave until it is all done," he told hundreds of victims sitting in a dusty open area near the camp.

 
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