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Afghanistan hit by 6.3 magnitude earthquake - its third in days

Afghanistan has been hit by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, its third in just over a week.

The US Geological Survey said its epicenter was about 21 miles (31km) outside the western provincial capital of Herat.

It's the same region which was hit by earthquakes last week and Wednesday, which killed more than 2,400 people and flattened entire villages.

Two people have been reported dead so far, according to the aid group Doctors Without Borders.

Mohammad Zahir Noorzai, head of the emergency relief team in Herat province, reported one fatality and almost 150 injured, but said casualty numbers may still rise as rescuers are yet to reach all the affected areas.

The powerful earthquakes and aftershocks on 7 October were among the most destructive in Afghanistan's recent history.

The epicentre was in the Zenda Jan district, where 1,294 people were killed and 1,688 were injured, according to UN figures. Hundreds in the area are still missing.

More than 90% of those killed were women and children, the UN said.

A subsequent 6.3 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday, which also hit rural parts of Herat province, destroyed entire villages.

A landslide blocked the main Herat-Toghondi motorway, according to an information ministry spokesman, while 700 homes were levelled in Chahak village.

Schools, health clinics and other facilities also collapsed.

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Taliban officials said more than 2,445 died in the earlier quakes.

Nearly 2,000 houses in 20 villages were destroyed, a Taliban official added, while the area hit by the quakes has just one government-run hospital.

In Naib Rafi, a village that previously had about 2,500 residents, people said almost no one was still alive besides men who were working outside when the earthquake struck.

Satellite imagery showed extreme levels of destruction in the district of Injil.