Flash flooding caused by torrential rain and thunderstorms struck several villages in mountainous northwestern Pakistan, leaving at least 22 people dead, a senior government official said yesterday.

Some 120 homes have been washed away in the flooding that hit seven villages Saturday in Swat, a hill resort district in North West Frontier Province, about 190km northwest of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, said Qari Mahmood, the province's minister for agriculture and livestock.

At least 20 people, many of them children, died in the village of Bedara and another two people were killed in the nearby Barinjal village. Many of the victims were crushed to death when their homes ollapsed in the rain and floods, Mahmood said.

More than 100 homes have been destroyed and 300 more were partially damaged in the seven affected villages. Police and paramilitary troops have been deployed to the villages to remove debris and distribute tents, medicines and food, he said.