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Afghanistan avalanche toll rises to 162 amid rescue efforts in snowbound valley

  • An Afghan girl carries shovels in a village close to an avalanche site in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    An Afghan girl carries shovels in a village close to an avalanche site in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Afghan men walk in a village close to an avalanche site in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Afghan men walk in a village close to an avalanche site in Panjshir province north of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Avalanches caused by a heavy winter snow killed at least 124 people in northeastern Afghanistan, an emergency official said Wednesday, as rescuers clawed through debris with their hands to save those buried beneath. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)  (The Associated Press)

A senior Afghan military officer says the death toll from an avalanche caused by heavy winter snows in a mountainous valley northeast of the capital Kabul has risen to 162.

Gen. Kadam Shah Shahim, commander of the Afghan army's Kabul Corps, says 1,000 troops had been deployed to Panjshir province, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Kabul, to assist rescue efforts. He says the toll is expected to rise.

Abdul Rahman Kabiri, the acting governor of Panjshir, said many people had been pulled alive from houses buried by the snow.

Heavy snows this week across four northeastern provinces caused deadly avalanches and flooding. Power to Kabul was cut and the Salang Tunnel connecting the north and south was closed.