'No sign of life' at Afghanistan plane crash site

Wreckage from the Pamir Airways plane on the mountainside on 20/5/2010
Image caption The wreckage was spotted strewn across the mountainside

Search teams in Afghanistan have reached the wreckage of a passenger plane in a remote mountain site north of the capital Kabul.

Aviation Minister Mohammadullah Batash said some bodies had been found but there were no sign of any survivors among the 44 people on board.

The Pamir Airways flight from Kunduz to Kabul crashed in the mountainous Shakardara district on Monday.

The cause of the crash is not yet clear.

"Parts of the crashed plane are lying in front of me. There are a number of bodies scattered around here," Mr Batash told the AFP news agency by telephone from the crash site.

"It is too soon to say that no-one has survived. But so far, we cannot see anyone alive and the situation here is extreme - cold, snow, wind."

He said the snow and "very high winds" was making the search operation difficult, but they planned to stay until all the bodies had been recovered.

The wreckage of the airline was spotted on a 13,500ft (4,100m) mountain by a search plane on Thursday.

Photos from Nato showed the plane had broken into four pieces and was strewn across the mountainside, the Associated Press reports.

Three Britons and one American were among the six foreigners on board.

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

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