Four Central Asian countries called on Monday for international help from governments and business in clearing toxic nuclear waste left over from the Cold War when they formed part of the Soviet Union.

Agroforestry is the predominant way of life in forested parts of
southern Kyrgyzstan and walnut forests are a major part of the cultural landscape. Local farmers lease forest plots from the state and these provide a wide range of non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan,

Sixteen people were killed in a landslide which struck southern Kyrgyzstan, an official from the emergency situations ministry said on Thursday.

Two strong earthquakes' hit Asia, killing more than 100 people and causing widespread damage.

An avalanche killed five people in the Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan, the emergencies ministry said on Friday. The avalanche hit the men when they were collecting brushwood in Kyrgyzstan's eastern Issyk-Kul region near its border with China, the ministry said in a statement. Avalanches and mudslides are frequent occurences in the mountainous nation of five million, especially in spring when meltwater rushes down from its peaks. (Reporting by Olga Dzyubenko; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov) REUTERS NEWS SERVICE