Freezing weather kills over 900 people in Afghanistan

By RIA Novosti

Kabul : The death toll of people killed by unusually severe cold weather in Afghanistan since December last year has risen to 926, a spokesman for the country’s Ministry for Emergency Situations said on Saturday.

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The spokesman said that only within the last five days the number of people killed by the frosts increased by 129.

The national weather authorities earlier said that this winter is the coldest on record with temperatures reaching lows of -30 degrees Centigrade (-22 Fahrenheit) in 17 of the country’s 34 provinces.

At least 100 people across the country have had limbs amputated due to frostbite, most of them shepherds who became lost in mountainous areas. The number of amputees is still on the rise.

Avalanches and heavy snowfall have also destroyed over 730 houses in the impoverished country, and nearly 315,000 cattle have died since blizzards and frost hit Afghanistan.

People in Afghanistan’s northern provinces, stricken with hunger and cold, have apparently even taken to selling their children to buy bread and coal. At least six cases have been reported in the Baghlan province this month alone. Aid workers have also reported being attacked by starving Afghan mountain dwellers.