Eighteen people lost their lives as an avalanche struck a village in Wakhan district of Badakhshan province, 315 km northeast of capital city Kabul Wednesday night, a local official said Thursday. "The tragic incident happened in Ark village of Wakhan district late Wednesday night during which several houses were smashed and 18 people including women and children were killed," Director of the Counter-Natural Disaster Department in Badakhshan province Sanaullah Amiri told Xinhua. However, local people said 21 people have lost their lives in the natural tragic incident. Meantime, Syed Piroz, the governor of Wakhan district when approached confirmed the incident, but he did not give the figure, saying a rescue operation is going on.