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Taliban Say 50 Killed in Earthquake

February 12, 1999

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ The ruling Taliban militia said today an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 killed 50 people in central Afghanistan and wounded about 200 others.

But aid workers and residents of the area said four people were killed and 10 people were injured in the earthquake that struck on Thursday night about 40 miles southwest of the beleaguered capital of Kabul.

The death toll was reported on Radio Shariat, which is controlled by the Taliban. All the victims lived in Maidan Shahr, about 20 miles from Kabul, near the epicenter.

It wasn’t immediately clear why there was a discrepancy in the figures, and the radio broadcast was received after curfew in the capital and could not be checked.

The Taliban rule roughly 90 percent of Afghanistan, including Kabul. The rest of the country is controlled by a coalition of opposition forces in the north.

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