Police in Afghanistan have fired gunshots into the air to disperse villagers angered by the slow delivery of aid in the wake of a deadly mudslide, according to witnesses.
Dozens of people tried to board an aid truck on Tuesday, and then attacked two police officers who attempted to restore order near Aab Bareek, the village in the Argo district of Badakhshan where hundreds died in the catastrophic mudslide last Friday.
"Up to 80 people on a nearby hill pelted the police with stones and the police fired into the air for about a minute," a witness told the Reuters news agency. A man armed with a pistol also approached an aid truck and "four police were pointing their AK47s at him, and one rushed at him and twisted his arm and grabbed his gun", the witness added.
The aid workers were handing out emergency supplies near the village.
|Afghan mudslide survivors fight over aid
Aid agencies have struggled to get supplies to the more than 4,000 people displaced by the landslide, but tensions have been running high in the area, as victims say emergency supplies are not arriving fast enough.
The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration said distribution of aid was halted due to shooting and insecurity.
The situation also intensified as residents of neighbouring villages walked to the refugee centre in an attempt to get food and other rations.
Meanwhile, large tracts of northern Afghanistan are reeling from floods with the UN saying about 75,000 people have been affected.
The US and NATO-led coalition troops battling Taliban fighters offered assistance, but the Afghan government said it could manage on its own.
Relations between Kabul and Washington are at an all-time low over President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign a security agreement allowing a small US force to remain in the country at the end of the year.