A spokesperson for the provincial governor in Afghanistan, Nek Mohammad Nazari, said that at least five people lost their lives and 35 people went missing in a landslide. The incident took place at a gold mine in a remote Taliban controlled district of Raghistan in Badakhshan province, northeastern Afghanistan. The Badakhshan province is in the Hindu Kush and the Pamir mountain ranges and has a border with China.
Nazari said that people living in the remote district found five dead people with 35 others still missing. He further added that since the landslide happened in an area that is under the grip of extremist group Taliban, the local government is not being able to start rescue operations. According to reports, the five killed were among the villagers who were digging for gold in the remote area. The district of Raghistan has been under the control of the Taliban since the year 2015 and many of the gold mines are there to fund the group's insurgency.
In a similar incident in the Badakhshan province, at least 30 people lost their lives after a landslide happened in a makeshift goldmine. According to reports, it was said that seven people suffered injuries while they were working in the tunnel in Kohistan district. The people who died were villagers who were working in a makeshift tunnel when a landslide and a flashflood flooded a nearby riverbed.
Afghanistan's government has inked two contracts to find copper and gold deposits in the northern provinces of the country in an effort to put a stop to illegal mining and reduce its dependency on financial aid by foreign countries by mining its own resources. Afghanistan is no stranger to incidents of Landslides as an incident in the year 2014 that also happened in the Badakhshan province, triggered by heavy downpour claimed the lives of at least 350 people and led to the disappearance of more than 2,000 people. Another incident in the northeastern part of Afghanistan claimed the lives of 71 people in 2012.
(With inputs from agencies)