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    Salang Pass reopens for traffic

    CHARIKAR (PAN): The Salang Pass linking the capital Kabul with northern Afghanistan on Monday reopened for traffic, hours after a heavy snowstorm closed northern and southern parts of the key highway, officials said. 

    Threats of snowfall and storms had subsided and both sides of the tunnel had been cleared, the Salang Pass Maintenance head, Gen. Abdul Rajab, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    He said all stranded passenger buses, stopped for security reasons, had started moving through the mountain pass. Supply trucks would also start moving to their destinations soon, he added.

    Naeemullah, the Charikar traffic department chief, confirmed the reopening of the highway and said loaded trucks would also start their movement shortly.

    In winters, heavy snowfalls on the Salang Pass lead to the death of many people every year. In Feb. 2010, 170 people died and 125 were injured as a result of heavy snowstorms and avalanches that hit the Russian-built tunnel.

    mrh/mud