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  1. ITV Report

At least 119 dead after heavy snow causes avalanches in Afghanistan

Heavy snow has blanketed 22 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces. Credit: APTN

Some 119 people have died and 89 people have been injured as heavy snow caused avalanches in different areas of Afghanistan.

Those figures were expected to rise as rescue teams made their way through snow-blocked roads to afflicted areas.

Many of the latest fatalities have come form the Nuristan province, near the Pakistani border, where two villages were buried in snow.

Spokesman for the state minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs, Omer Mohammadi said rescue teams have so far recovered 48 bodies from those villages and that more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of farmland have been destroyed.

A public holiday was declared on Sunday due to the heavy snowfall. Credit: APTN

Some 22 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have experienced heavy snowfall over the last three days.

"This will take days for us to clean up all roads covered with snow in different provinces," Mohammadi said.

On Sunday, the government declared a public holiday due to the heavy snowfall.

The United Nations has offered its assistance.

"I commend the efforts of the Afghan government that has quickly mobilised to respond to the disaster," said UN humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan Mark Bowden in a statement.

"The UN system stands ready to fully support the Afghan government in responding."