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6.1 quake hits Afghanistan

A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake rattled Pakistan and Afghanistan on Wednesday, including the capital cities of both countries, killing a young girl and injuring 15 others, officials said.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake's centre was in northeast Afghanistan near the Pakistan border, about 35 kilometres south of Jarm in the Hindu Kush region. It had a depth of 191.2 kilometres.

TV footage showed people in Islamabad fleeing offices and schools in panic.

Rana Hamid Ali, who works at a private company, said when the quake hit he started running toward the stairs instead of using the office elevator to get out of the building.

"We were doing routine work in our office when a strong earthquake suddenly rattled our building and we came down through the stairs, there was no time to wait for the elevator," he said.

Another resident, Azeem Chaudhry, said his home's walls swayed when the quake struck.

At least one girl was killed and eight others injured when roofs collapsed on mud-brick homes in the village of Lasbela in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, said local government official Izat Nazir Baluch. He said authorities were still trying to assess the damage in the province.

Four schoolchildren were also injured when students stampeded out of their school in the northwestern city of Peshawar, but none was listed in serious condition, according to police and government officials.

The quake was felt in the Afghan capital Kabul, and an official said at least three people were injured when a wall collapsed in a village in northeastern Badakhshan province near the border with Pakistan.



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