More than 1,600 others were injured in the 5.9-magnitude quake, which struck early Wednesday and was centered in the country’s remote southeast near the Pakistan border.

For much of the past two decades, the southeastern part of Afghanistan near the Pakistani border was plagued by insurgent activity, as police and military posts were frequently overwhelmed by Taliban fighters, and received few benefits from the American military presence.

The Taliban takeover in August finally brought relative peace to the far-flung population, despite the hardships they continued to face as the country suffered a drought and economic collapse.

Then early Wednesday, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit the region, shattering what little peace and stability the people there had been able to hold on to after so many years of hardship and violence.

More than 1,000 people were killed and 1,600 others injured in the quake, officials said, striking another blow to a country that has grappled with a dire humanitarian and economic crisis since the Taliban takeover in August.

The quake — the deadliest in the country in two decades — hit about 28 miles southwest of the city of Khost, a provincial capital in the country’s southeast, the United States Geological Survey said, and had a depth of about six miles. But the worst damage was in the neighboring Paktika Province, which lies along the border with Pakistan.

Source: New York Times

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