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Quake flattens Afghan homes

Associated Press / April 17, 2009
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KABUL - Two earthquakes have killed at least 15 people and destroyed about 100 homes early today in eastern Afghanistan.

Government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said the two earthquakes about 50 miles east of Kabul have also wounded 20.

The US Geological Survey said a 5.5 magnitude quake struck Nangarhar province around 2 a.m. and the second, a 5.1 magnitude aftershock, two hours later.

A Reuters Television cameraman in the village of Mir Gadkhel said villagers were scrambling through rubble of flattened houses to recover bodies.

A villager in Nangarhar's Sherzad district, Shah Mohammad Khan, said the death toll there could be higher. Khan said 40 people were killed and 60 wounded, but no government officials have confirmed those figures.