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Authorities Rule Out Survivors Of Afghan Air Disaster

8 February 2005 -- Afghanistan's government has announced that all 104 people who were on board an Afghan airliner that crashed on 3 February are dead.

NATO and Afghan soldiers managed yesterday to inspect the site of the crash, a snow-covered mountain 30 kilometers east of the capital Kabul.

The government statement today said the soldiers found that no one was left alive and offered condolences to the victims' families.

The Kam Air passenger plane disappeared from radar screens after it approached Kabul airport in a blizzard from the western Afghan city of Herat. There were 96 passengers and eight crew on board, most of them Afghans but also including nine Turks, six Americans, four Russians, and three Italians.

Afghan authorities say the cause of the crash remains a mystery and are calling in U.S. experts to help investigate.

An unidentified spokesman for neo-Taliban elements denied that its insurgents were responsible for the crash.