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10 killed in Afghan avalanches: official

Afghanistan's Salang pass.
by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) Jan 18, 2009
Ten people were killed and more than 30 others had to be rescued when avalanches buried their vehicles in Afghanistan's Salang pass north of the capital, Kabul, the government said Sunday.

The vehicles were trapped Friday in the pass, which crosses the Hindu Kush mountains 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Kabul, public works ministry official Mohammad Rajab told AFP.

"There were 42 people in several vehicles that were caught," said Rajab, head of the highways department. "Ten people were killed and 11 others were injured. We rescued 21 other people safely," he said.

The Salang pass sees heavy snowfalls every winter and lives are often lost there. It features a 2.6-kilometre tunnel built in 1950s that is one of the highest road tunnels in the world.

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Arctic front freezes US, Canada in record cold snap
Washington (AFP) Jan 16, 2009
A record cold snap gripped the American Midwest Friday as temperatures plummeted to lows of minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 34 degrees Celsius) and officials scrambled to protect the homeless and vulnerable.

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