Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 17:07 UK

Search for crashed Afghan passenger plane goes on

Ambulance on standby near the mountains where the Afghan plane is believed to have crashed in the Salang pass (17 May 2010)
The area is covered in dense fog

The Nato-led Isaf force says it is still looking for a passenger plane which crashed in Afghanistan on Monday.

Earlier reports that a Nato helicopter had spotted the plane wreckage were not true and the search could go on for some time, an Isaf spokesman said.

Bad weather and difficult terrain have been hampering the operation.

The Pamir Airways plane, with more than 40 people on board, went down near the Salang Pass in mountains about 100km (60 miles) north of the capital, Kabul.

Officials said six foreigners were on board the flight from the northern city of Kunduz, including three Britons.

The fate of all those on board is unclear.

Rugged terrain

"Isaf is still assisting the Afghan authorities in the search for the plane," Isaf spokesman Lt-Cmdr Iain Baxter told the BBC.


"A fairly wide area is being searched and it could take some time as the area is mountainous and rugged."

He could not say when he thought the plane might be found.

Dozens of Afghan police and locals have been scouring the remote and rugged terrain of the Hindu Kush mountain range where the plane is believed to have crashed.

But fog and snow have been hindering the search, officials say.

The Salang Pass is a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains connecting Kabul to the north of the country.

Pamir Airways is one of Afghanistan's private carriers and operates mainly domestic routes.

In 2005 an Afghan airliner crashed in the Band-e-Ghazi area east of Kabul. More than 100 people were killed.

Salang Tunnel - Afghanistan's lifeline
10 Feb 10 |  South Asia

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific