Afghan passenger plane crashes with 44 on board

KABUL Afghanistan — An Afghan passenger plane carrying 44 people, including six foreigners, crashed Monday in a mountainous northern region where poor weather was hampering efforts to locate it, officials said. There was no immediate word on casualties.
Rescuers were trying to reach the crash site near the 3,800-meter-high Salang Pass, a major route through the Hindu Kush mountains that connects the capital to the north.
The plane was operated by Pamir Airways, a private Afghan airline making a flight from the northern city of Kunduz to the capital, said Kabul International Airport Police Chief Mohammad Asif Jabar Khil. The plane crashed about 100 kilometers from Kabul, he said.
At the request of the Afghan government, NATO dispatched a fixed-wing aircraft to the last known position of the plane, but poor weather hampered the aerial search. Capt. Robert Leese, a spokesman for the NATO air unit assisting in the search, said the US aircraft got within seven kilometers of the crash site, but had to abort due to bad weather.