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Aid convoy reaches Afghan landslide victims

Reports of shots fired and fighting as 15 army trucks arrive with supplies in Abi Barik village in Badakhshan province.

Last updated: 05 May 2014 15:10
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There have been reports of shots fired and fighting near the site of a deadly landslide in Afghanistan after 15 army trucks arrived with aid supplies in the village of Abi Barik in Badakhshan province.

Hundreds of families are struggling to get food and shelter in a remote part of the country, after being left homeless by a landslide on Friday which killed hundreds of people and left nearly 4,000 homeless.

Matt Graydon, from the International Organisation for Migration, one of the aid groups attempting to reach the village, told Al Jazeera he had been turned back from Aab Bareek on Monday morning.

Al Jazeera's correspondent reports from Badakhshan 

"We attempted to reach the distribution site, which is just outside the village, but we were turned back at the entrance due to reports of fighting and shooting," said Graydon.

"We don't have too many details on what's going on but we were advised for our safety to turn back," Graydon told Al Jazeera.

"A number of aid trucks from [Sunday] have been moved down the road as well."

The situation is now understood to have calmed down, but there are concerns that aid may still not reach those who need it the most.

Al Jazeera's Abdullah Shahood, reporting from Badakhshan, said that people were now digging and looking for relatives themselves but that 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," said Shahood.

Mohammad Bay said: "Six members of my family are under the mud, we are living under a tent we provided ourselves, we haven't received a tent, or any blankets or food yet."

'Little food'

Aid groups and the government have rushed to the remote area in northeastern Afghanistan bordering Tajikistan and China with food, shelter and water.

But 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," Shahood 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.

Authorities still do not have an exact figure on how many people died in Friday's landslide, but up to 350 people are believed to have been killed.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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