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22 dead in earthquakes in Afghanistan

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  • Two earthquakes kill at least 22 in Afghanistan
  • 5.5 quake rocked Nangarhar province at 2 a.m. local time
  • U.S. sending humanitarian aid to the area
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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A pair of moderate earthquakes struck Afghanistan on Friday, killing at least 22 people and destroying 200 homes, an official said.

The quakes hit the Sherzad district of Nangarhar province, about 50 miles southeast of the capital, Kabul, district governor Said Rahman told CNN.

The first, just before 2 a.m. (5:27 p.m. ET) registered at magnitude 5.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The second, centered a few miles away, struck about two hours later and measured magnitude 5.1.

The Afghan army has been deployed to help with rescue efforts, said Gen. Mohammed Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.

The U.S. State Department Friday sent humanitarian aid to the area.

Acting Spokesman Robert Wood said a Provisional Reconstruction Team (PRT) operating in the area was sending a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies and U.S. medical responders to quake-damaged villages in the Nangarhar province.

"We extend our condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, especially to the injured and the families of those who have lost their lives," Wood said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, traveling in the Dominican Republic, expressed concern about the earthquakes.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people in that country," she said. "The United States and the international community will work closely to help these areas deal with the impact of the earthquakes."

CNN's Atia Abawi contributed to this report.

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