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    Accidents & Disasters

    Salang Pass reopens for traffic

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

    The snowstorm threats had subsided and both sides of the tunnel had been cleared of snow, the Salang Pass Maintenance head, Gen. Abdul Rajab, told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    All stranded passenger buses which were stopped for security reasons had been allowed to move through the mountainous pass. Heavy traffic would also soon be allowed to move, he added.

    Eight avalanches had taken place so far, with efforts at removing snow ongoing, he said, adding two workers sustained slight injuries during the clearing process.

    Naeemullah, the Charikar traffic department chief, confirmed the highway has been reopen, saying 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/myn/ma



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