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Afghan mudslide survivors fight over aid

Scuffles break out among Aab Bareek residents as they rush to grab emergency supplies, three days after deadly disaster.

Last updated: 07 May 2014 05:53
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Survivors of a deadly mudslide in Afghanistan's north are struggling to cope three days after the disaster struck, with fighting breaking out as they scramble for emergency aid in the country’s north.

Villagers scuffled with each other in an effort to get access to food, water and tents, after 15 army lorries arrived with supplies in the village of Aab Bareek in Badakhshan province  on Tuesday.

Landslide survivors complain about aid supply

Police fired warning shots in the air before the aid was sent to a dispensing centre at the provincial capital Faizabad, a two-hour drive from the stricken village.

The displaced villagers complained of nearby towns taking supplies meant for them.

"People from other villages came here and received help but the actual needy people are ignored by the officials," Rahmatullah, a villager who lost five family members, told the Reuters news agency.

"There is no proper plan to give aid to the needy."

Hundreds of families are struggling to get food and shelter in the remote part of the country, after Friday's landslide killed at least 250 people, with hundreds more missing and feared dead, according to a government tally. 

Al Jazeera's Abdullah Shahood, reporting from Badakhshan, said people were digging and looking for relatives themselves but a lack of machinery and equipment was hampering their search efforts.

"They haven't given up … but it is impossible with no technology and just [using] shovels [for] digging piles of mud to recover the dead bodies," he said.

Al Jazeera's correspondent reports from Badakhshan 

Aid groups and the government have struggled to reach the remote area in northeastern Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan and China, with those affected say help was slow to arrive.

"People are saying that the aid is there but it is not distributed properly, or in a transparent way, and it has been three days but people are still camping out with little food and water," our correspondent said.

After visiting the area on Sunday, an official from the Natural Disaster Management Authority acknowledged that aid had yet to reach some people, but said their efforts were complicated by villagers from areas unaffected by the landslide also coming to claim the aid.

About 4,000 people have been displaced by the landslide, and survivors have been warned against returning home because of the danger of more slides.

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