The Taliban on Tuesday ordered its Mujahideen to provide help for those affected by Monday’s earthquake, and asked rescuer workers to “not hold back” on bringing aid to victims. Relief work has suffered since the earthquake, which has killed more than 300 people, as several parts of the insurgency-hit region were considered unsafe for international aid workers and government troops.

The Guardian reported that Pakistani army forces are leading the rescue efforts, which had its epicentre in the Hindu Kush region in Afghanistan, and hit both countries hard on Monday afternoon. Pakistan has so far refused international assistance to deal with the disaster, though rescue workers are still struggling to reach remote and mountainous area. Officials said the death toll is likely to go up once the teams reach these isolated locations.

Inayatullah Khnan, minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the worst affected of Pakistan’s provinces, said the situation was grim in the districts of Upper Chitral, Dir and Shangla. “The district officers in those areas have informed me there were many villages and buildings that got totally destroyed,” he told The Guardian.