Afghanistan quake kills 1,000 people, deadliest in decades

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A powerful earthquake struck a rural, mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early Wednesday, killing 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more in one of the country's deadliest quakes in decades, the state-run news agency reported. Officials warned that the already grim toll may still rise.

Information from the remote area near the Pakistani border remained scarce, but early footage from villages tucked among the rough mountains showed residents picking through rubble of collapsed stone and mudbrick houses.

The disaster posed a major test for Afghanistan's Taliban government, which seized power nearly 10 months ago as the U.S. and its NATO allies prepared to pull out of the country and has been largely shunned by the world community since.

Rescuers rushed to the area by helicopter, but the response is likely to be complicated since many international aid agencies left Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.