At least 52 people are feared dead after a landslide swept through a village in Afghanistan’s remote mountainous northeast Tuesday, the latest natural disaster in the war-torn nation, officials said. The disaster, which buried dozens of houses in Badakhshan province, comes nearly a year after another landslide triggered by heavy rains killed at least 300 people in the isolated region. The disasters highlight the challenges facing the underdeveloped nation as it battles a resilient Taliban insurgency in what is expected to be the bloodiest spring-summer fighting season for a decade. At least 25 women and 22 children were among those missing in the landslide in Jaryo Bala village, said deputy provincial governor Gul Mohammad Beidar.

‘We have asked Kabul for help and they have said they are sending two helicopters to assist with the rescue operations,” Beidar told AFP.“This is a remote area on the border with Tajikistan and the road to this district remains closed for six months of the year,” he added, highlighting the challenges facing the relief effort. Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, the police spokesman of Badakhshan, confirmed the toll. “Initial information shows 100 houses have been destroyed in the landslide and 52 people are missing,” Ahmadzai told AFP. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was “deeply saddened” to hear about the landslide which “claimed the lives of a number of our countrymen,” his office said in a statement. MORE