Dozens killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan avalanches

An Afghan man caries gas cylinder on his shoulder on the snowy day on the outskirts

BBC – Heavy snow and avalanches have killed dozens of people in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In Afghanistan nearly 100 have lost their lives in the past three days – including 16 in overnight avalanches just north of the capital Kabul.

Thirteen people were killed in an avalanche in northern Pakistan, nine of them in the town of Chitral.

Several homes were destroyed in the town, and more people were feared trapped under the snow.

The worst hit areas in Afghanistan were the mountainous north-eastern province of Badakhshan, Nangahar in the east and Parwan near Kabul.

The main international airport in Kabul has been closed because of snow and ice on the runway.

The snow caused havoc on major roads, including the Kabul-Kandahar Highway, where police and soldiers rescued some 250 vehicles trapped by the storm.

The Salang pass north of Kabul was also closed under as much as 2.5m (7ft) of snow, local police chief Rajab Salangi said, according to Reuters news agency.

Officials are warning of more avalanches as snow storms are continuing.

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