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Wreckage Of Afghan Plane Found

4 February 2005 -- Western security sources say searchers have discovered the wreckage of an Afghan airliner that crashed east of Kabul with 104 people on board.

There was no immediate word on survivors, and Afghanistan's transport minister refused to comment on the report from news agencies.

Afghan officials and NATO-led peacekeepers earlier began a search and rescue operation after a passenger plane carrying 104 people disappeared from radar during a heavy snowstorm.

Afghan Transport Minister Enayatullah Qasemi said at a news conference today that the last time the aircraft was seen on radar it was about 5 kilometers east of the capital Kabul.

The Kam Air Boeing 737 took off yesterday from the western Afghan city of Herat and was told not to land in Kabul because of heavy snow there.

Qasemi said authorities have contacted airports inside Afghanistan and in neighboring countries and there were no reports of the plane landing.

The Afghan plane was carrying 96 passengers and a crew of six Russians and two Afghans.