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Afghanistan earthquake: At least 280 killed as 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits Paktika province

The quake struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border

Afghanistan earthquake: At least 280 killed as 6.0 magnitude earthquake hits Paktika province
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An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 killed at least 280 people in Afghanistan early on Wednesday, officials said, adding that hundreds of people were injured and the toll was likely to rise as information trickled in from remote mountain villages.

The quake struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGC) said.

Most of the confirmed deaths were in the eastern Afghan province of Paktika, where 255 people had been killed and more than 200 injured, said interior ministry official Salahuddin Ayubi.

In Khost province, 25 people had been killed and 90 taken to hospital, he said. The state-run Bakhtar news agency reported the death toll and said rescuers were arriving by helicopter.

The news agency's director-general, Abdul Wahid Rayan, wrote on Twitter that 90 houses have been destroyed in Paktika and dozens of people are believed trapped under the rubble.

The European seismological agency, EMSC, said the earthquake's tremors were felt over 500 kilometres (310 miles) by 119 million people across Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

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