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Snow, Cold Snap Leave 27 Children Dead In Northern Afghanistan

FILE: Survivors of an avalanche run to get relief goods distributed by an Afghan army helicopter in the Paryan district of Panjshir province.

Heavy snowfall and freezing weather has killed 27 children in a remote district of northern Afghanistan, an official says.

Fifty centimeters of snow blocked roads in Darzaab in northern Jawzjan Province as temperatures plunged to minus 10 degrees Celsius, district Governor Rahmatullah Hashar said on January 26.

Hashar said the deaths occurred over the past two or three days, adding that all of the children were under the age of 5.

The fact that access for villagers has been cut off means the toll could rise, he also said.

However, the provincial governor's spokesman, Reza Ghafoori, said aid would be delivered.

Each winter, heavy snowfall, subzero temperatures, and avalanches kill scores of people in Afghanistan, where poor infrastructure makes it difficult for rescuers to reach isolated areas.

Based on reporting by AFP and Pajhwok