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    2 highway officials found frozen to death

    CHARIKAR (PAN): Two highway maintenance officials were found dead on Wednesday afternoon after they were buried by an avalanche in central Parwan province, an official said.

    The Salang Highway Maintenance Department officials were on an excavator removing snow when they were caught in the disaster on the northern part of the Russian-built tunnel that connects Kabul with northern provinces, said Abdul Zahir, the deputy maintenance commander.

    His senior Gen. Abdul Rajab was slightly injured in the chest when the avalanche hit his vehicle. Seven of his subordinates escaped unhurt in the incident. They searched for the excavator's driver and cleaner, but found them dead at 2pm, said Zahir.

    The surviving colleagues had started their journey on foot taking the deceased home on shoulders as the highway remained closed at 52 locations due to heavy snow. "They are expected to take the dead home until morning," the official said, adding the dead were residents of Nayawaj and Qalatak areas.

    nz/ma/mud