Over 1,000 killed, 1,600 injured as earthquake jolts Afghanistan

Death toll may rise after quake shakes border provinces of Paktika, Khost on Tuesday night.

Over 1,000 killed, 1,600 injured as earthquake jolts Afghanistan

A deadly earthquake has killed over 1,000 people and nearly injured 1,600 in eastern Afghanistan, officials said on Wednesday.

"More than 1000 people were killed and over 1500 others injured in Paktika province," the Head of Information and Culture Department of the province told state-run Bakhtar News Agency.

He added that the death toll could rise as rescue operations still continue in the Gayan and Barmal districts of the province.

So far, at least 29 were killed and 95 others wounded in Khost province, bringing the total number of deaths to 1029 and 1,595 injured in the country.

Paktika and Khost are the most affected provinces of the country where hundreds of houses were destroyed by the last night's magnitude 6.1 earthquake,

Earlier, Maulvi Sharafuddin Muslim, deputy minister of state for disaster management, said that at least 218 people have been killed and more than 300 injured in Giani district alone.

The tremors shook the eastern border provinces of Khost and Paktika last night, causing huge destructions in the areas.

Afghan officials said the death toll could rise as dozens of people are in critical condition.

"I have tragic reports from my native Paktika province, where hundreds of people are killed and wounded in the devastating earthquakes. The homes are destroyed, and people are under the rubbles," Khalid Zadran, a police spokesman in the capital Kabul, said in a tweet.

"Aid teams from Kabul have reached the area and rescue work is underway. All aid organizations should direct their aid to Paktika," he added.

Taliban officials have also requested immediate assistance in the quake-hit areas.

Videos and photos circulating on social media show houses razed to the ground in the last night's devastating earthquake.

Hüseyin Demir