Afghan flights delayed as snow blankets Kabul’s airport

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Flights to and from the Afghan capital were delayed or cancelled Thursday after the city was blanketed by overnight snow.

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Kabul’s streets were also largely empty as shop owners, government employees and workers stayed indoors to seek shelter from the freezing weather.

The cold snap has added to Afghanistan’s woes, with the United Nations and other organizations warning millions will need food and shelter from the country’s harsh winter.

On Thursday, dozens of workers cleared snow from the single runway at Kabul’s airport, which has slowly resumed business after being trashed in August when tens of thousands of people scrambled to evacuate as the Taliban returned to power.

“Flights have been delayed as there is snow on the runway but soon we will clear it,” said Imamuddin Ahmadi, spokesman for the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.

Kabul has missed regular snowfall in recent years, as thick clouds of smog from coal and wood fires keep temperatures high in the immediate vicinity.

But the forecast for the coming days suggests temperatures will dip further in the capital and neighboring provinces.

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