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LAHORE: Hassan Khan, husband of Zeenat Rafiq, who was burned alive, allegedly by her mother, shows his marriage certificate to media at his home yesterday. —AP
LAHORE: Hassan Khan, husband of Zeenat Rafiq, who was burned alive, allegedly by her mother, shows his marriage certificate to media at his home yesterday. —AP

Mums comfort scared daughters after the Pakistan 'honor killing'

KABUL: At least 60 people have been killed by heavy rain and snow in Afghanistan over the past three weeks, the government’s disaster ministry said Wednesday.

Afghanistan has been parched by an unusually dry winter, but the end of the season is normally a time when deadly bad weather — particularly floods — batter communities. “Because of the snow and rains unfortunately sixty compatriots have been martyred and 23 people injured” since February 20, ministry spokesman Janan Sayeq said in a video statement.

About 1,645 houses have been totally or partially ruined and nearly 178,000 livestock killed, he added. Since the collapse of the US-backed government and the return of the Taleban, foreign aid to Afghanistan has shrunk dramatically, undermining the already impoverished nation’s ability to respond to disasters.

Western Herat province — still reeling from a succession of devastating earthquakes in October — has been hit by flash floods after heavy rain since Monday evening.

Five members of the same family were killed Tuesday when the roof of their home collapsed in the provincial capital of Herat city, disaster management official Abdul Zaher Noorzai told reporters. Provisional data showed about 250 houses had been destroyed and vast tracts of farmland flooded, he added, saying aid should begin arriving on Thursday.

Like many other houses in the area, the one that caved-in on the five relatives had been damaged in a series of earthquakes five months ago, local imam Naqibullah told AFP. The trio of quakes — starting on October 7 — killed nearly 1,500 and left some 30,000 homes totally or partially destroyed, according to the United Nations. — AFP

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