Peshawar - Lightning and heavy rain destroyed homes in two remote villages in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 50 people, police said.

Seven houses were destroyed and several more damaged in villages in Dirbala district, 250 kilometres north of Peshawar, said local official Nisar Khan Wardak.

Sultan Ghani, the region's deputy police chief, said officers and doctors had been dispatched to the region, located in mountains near a fast-flowing stream.

"It seems the lightning triggered landslides, and boulders struck homes," he said. Some injured people had been taken to a local hospital, he said. Storms often bring rain and snow that weigh down roofs and fast-flowing streams are known to wash away settlements.