At least 30 villagers illegally searching for gold in a northeastern Afghanistan province were killed Sunday when a flash flood struck the region, authorities said, according to a report from the Associated Press. Spokesman for the provincial governor Nek Mohammad Nazari said that the villagers had dug deep into the river when the flood hit, and that the death toll could still rise. Dozens of other villagers in the Kohistan district of Badakhshan were reportedly injured by the flood, and the landslide that accompanied it. A spokesman for the province’s police chief said that approximately 50 people were searching for gold in the area when the flood hit, and that seven are in critical condition.
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