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45 killed in north India landslide: local official

File photo.
by Staff Writers
Dehradun, India (AFP) Aug 9, 2009
At least 45 people have been killed in a landslide that swamped three villages after heavy rain in India's northern Uttarakhand state, an official said Sunday.

The landslide swept down a steep slope in Pithoragarh district, 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the capital New Delhi, in the early hours of Saturday.

"We can confirm 45 deaths," senior administration official N.S. Negi told AFP by phone, adding that 16 bodies had been recovered.

Rescue teams were searching through the mud and rocks for the other fatalities, Negi said.

The remote, hilly region was lashed by annual monsoon rain before the landslides occurred.

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