Afghan coal mine collapses, 11 dead

KABUL Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:32pm IST

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KABUL (Reuters) - Eleven miners were killed when part of a coal mine collapsed in Afghanistan's central Baghlan province on Saturday, a district official said.

The cause of the accident at the mine, 200 km (120 miles) north of the capital, Kabul, was not immediately clear, district chief Fazel Rahman said.

Safety standards are often lax at mines in Afghanistan, with some employing children as young as 10 despite government regulations forbidding child labour.

The government, which is seeking foreign investment in the country's untapped mineral resources, says it is trying to clean up the coal industry in a country that struggles to provide power and heat for its people each winter.

(Reporting by Hamid Shalizi; Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Paul Tait)

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