Afghans halt effort to recover bodies of 66 people killed in landslide from earthquake

The Associated Press

KABUL - Afghan officials say they are halting efforts to dig out more than 60 bodies from the site of a devastating landslide that followed earthquakes in northern Afghanistan earlier this week. They plan to make the area a memorial to the dead.

The government has said 71 people were buried in Monday's landslide, but the police chief of Baghlan province's Burka district says they have pulled out only five bodies in four days of digging.

He says that religious leaders in the area recommended that they leave the bodies buried under the hill and rename it "Martyrs Hill."

Police chief Azizullahrahman said Thursday that more than 800 people helped with the effort to dig out the bodies of the victims.

Two earthquakes struck the area early Monday, causing the landslide.