An avalanche in northern Afghanistan cascaded over a line of vehicles on a mountain pass killing 10 people, while a NATO soldier died in a clash with insurgents in the south, officials said Sunday.
The avalanche smothered three vehicles as they traveled up the Salang Pass on Friday, said Khalilullah Ziai, a police official. Authorities recovered all the bodies.
The Salang tunnel is a high mountain passage that connects Kabul with the country's northern provinces. The area sees avalanches every winter.
In the southern province of Helmand, meanwhile, a British soldier was killed in a clash with insurgents Saturday, Britain's Ministry of Defense said. The soldier was killed during a foot patrol. Southern Afghanistan is the center of the Taliban-led insurgency, and the world's largest drug producing area. The Taliban have made a comeback after their initial defeat during the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.
The U.S. plans to send some 20,000 new American forces into southern Afghanistan to help British, Canadian and Dutch soldiers battle the militants there.
According to an Associated Press tally, 286 foreign military personnel died last year in Afghanistan, including 151 Americans and 51 Britons.