An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale has killed at least three children and left more than 1,000 people without shelter in the south of Tajikistan.

The earthquake, whose epicentre was in northern Afghanistan about 180 km (112 miles) southeast of the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, hit early this morning.

It almost completely destroyed a village in Tajikistan's Panj region near the border with Afghanistan. At least 19 people were injured.

Several more weaker tremors were felt overnight.