(Reuters) - More than 2,000 people are trapped after a landslide smashed into a village in a remote mountainous area of northeastern Afghanistan on Friday, a spokesman for the local governor said, prompting a massive search and rescue effort.
"There were more than 1,000 families living in that village. A total of 2,100 people - men, women and children - are trapped," Naweed Forotan, a spokesman for the Badakhshan governor, told Reuters.
A senior police official earlier said up to 500 people were missing, believed dead.
Three bodies have been pulled out of the rubble in Argo district and at least 100 people are being treated for injuries, Colonel Abdul Qadeer Sayad, a deputy police chief of Badakhshan province, said.
The landslide, which follows a week of heavy rain at a time of melting spring snow, crushed hundreds of houses and damaged hundreds more, he said.
Villagers were attempting to recover their possessions after a smaller landslide crashed into the village. No one was hurt in the first slide, officials said. The second deadly slide struck a few hours later.
President Hamid Karzai ordered Afghan officials to start emergency relief efforts immediately, a palace statement said.