(Edited from China Daily)Avalanches on a mountain pass north of Kabul have killed at least 28 people, with another 1,500 stranded in their vehicles on snow-blocked roads, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

 

The Afghan Defense Ministry released a statement saying another 70 people have been injured and transported to hospitals as the military and police continued rescue efforts to dig out those trapped in the snow.

(Edited from China Daily)Avalanches on a mountain pass north of Kabul have killed at least 28 people, with another 1,500 stranded in their vehicles on snow-blocked roads, Afghan officials said Tuesday.

 

The Afghan Defense Ministry released a statement saying another 70 people have been injured and transported to hospitals as the military and police continued rescue efforts to dig out those trapped in the snow.

 

The avalanches took place Monday following heavy snows in the Salang Pass that links the Afghan capital with the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

 

President Hamid Karzai ordered authorities to make every effort possible to quickly reopen the pass and provide aid to those in need.

 

In a statement, Karzai ordered the ministries of public works, defense and disaster control to “use all possible means to get the roads unblocked and rescue those trapped and stranded in the heavy snow.”

 

He also expressed condolences to the families of the victims who were killed or injured.

About 100 Afghan soldiers were mobilized to join police and others in the rescue efforts, along with four helicopters, several ambulances and several bulldozers, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said.

 

Unfortunately there were more avalanches this morning, which made our work a little difficult, but we are trying to rescue people, he said.

 

Rescuers worked through the night to save more than 200 people, said Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayedkhail, Parwan provincial police chief.

“There’s still danger from avalanches there, so that’s why our work is a little slow” Rahman said.

 

Military helicopters were dropping food packages to people stuck on snow-blocked roads, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemerai Bashary said.

 

Earlier, Afghan reports said some 300 cars and buses were trapped on the mountain pass.

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