At least 54 dead in Afghanistan avalanches

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Omer Mohammadi, spokesman for the Afghan state minister for disaster management and humanitarian affairs, said that more than 50 others have been injured in different parts of the country.

He said more than 150 homes have been destroyed by the avalanches and that 50 others were heavily damaged.

The avalanches, which came after heavy snowfall, have also killed an estimated 550 animals and destroyed more than 1,000 hectares of farmland.

Mohammad Aseem, governor of the hard-hit northern province of Parwan, said 16 people were killed and eight others injured in avalanches in two districts.

An avalanche in neighbouring Pakistan killed at least 13 people and buried five homes, according to Nizamud Shah, a local official in the northern town of Chitral, who added that several other people are missing.

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