24 killed in Kyrgyzstan landslide

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24 killed in Kyrgyzstan landslide

Bishkek, April 29 (IANS) At least 24 persons were killed in a landslide that swept over a part of a village in southern Kyrgyzstan on Saturday, the Emergencies Ministry said.

The landslide struck the village of Ayu in the Osh region of the mountainous country at around 6:40 a.m. (local time), swallowing seven houses in the village and burying more than 20 people in six of the seven houses.

The Emergencies Ministry said there were nine children among those buried alive, Xinhua news agency reported.

Dozens of rescue workers were at the scene looking for survivors.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev sent Emergencies Minister Kubatbek Boronov to the village to take charge of the rescue operation.

A rescue headquarters was also established in the village. Apart from over 180 rescuers, 100 Kyrgyz soldiers participated in the rescue operation.

Atambayev decreed to declare April 30 a day of mourning for those killed under the landslide, according to the press service of the President.

On the day of mourning, the national flags of the Kyrgyz Republic will be lowered nationwide and on the buildings of diplomatic missions abroad.

TV and radio companies were told to cancel entertainment programmes.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.