e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Home 
 News 
 Articles 
 Cartoons 
 Feedback 
 Opinion  
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 04/17/2014
 Afghanistan tunnel carries risks for NATO

CBS
06/10/2012
By John Bentley

[Printer Friendly Version]

SALANG - Since Pakistan closed the Khyber Pass border-crossing late last year, NATO has had to supply its forces through the Salang Tunnel, a 1.6-mile long Soviet-era relic with unforgiving dimensions and a deadly history.

With only inches to spare, a huge tanker squeezed past a bus and through the Salang Tunnel.

The badly rutted road can jam trucks against the rocks or tip them over. Drivers can wait for more than a week to get through this dangerous mountain pass.

Despite the risks, coalition troops rely on the tunnel for 85 percent of their fuel. This is the best route available since Pakistan closed its borders to NATO trucks seven months ago.

Since then, a tunnel built for 1,000 vehicles a day has 10 times that traffic.

Afghan Gen. Mohammad Rajab is in charge of maintenance on the pass. "It's just one accident away from disaster," he said. "And unless something is done soon, it will be impossible for the tunnel to function."

The tunnel has no lights. And the ventilation system doesn't work. The air is choked with such high levels of carbon monoxide that some passengers get sick.

While there are other routes through the Hindu Kush mountains, the Salang Tunnel is the only one that is protected. So drivers have to make a choice: take your chances on this road, or risk being attacked by insurgents.

Like many here, this driver hauls fuel for U.S. troops. "I have been stuck for days on this road," he said. "It's very dangerous."

The Salang Tunnel was built by the Soviets in 1964, but never completely finished. Almost 1,000 Soviet troops died of asphyxiation in 1982 when an explosion trapped them in the tunnel. Since then, hundreds of travelers have died in accidents and avalanches.

Coalition forces wouldn't comment on the tunnel, but Gen. Rajab told CBS News NATO should pay for the repairs the added traffic has caused.

"Their convoys destroyed the road," he said, "and they have a responsibility to help us rebuild it."

So far, there are no plans to rebuild. The Salang Tunnel remains a critical artery for coalition supplies.

Back to Top



Other Stories:


20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan’s Next First Lady Could be a Christian
PJMedia.com (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)

Next Afghan president: A pen or bulldozer?
Asia Times (10/24/2013)

Afghan Election Frontrunners
The Wall Street Journal (10/09/2013)

Karzai Lashes Out at U.S. for Its Role in Afghanistan
The New York Time (10/08/2013)

Karzai offered my party $100m, Noor claims
Pajhwok (10/07/2013)

Gen. Dostum apologizes for his role in Afghanistan civil war
Khama Press (10/07/2013)

27 Candidates nominated for 2014 Afghan presidential election
Khaama Press (10/07/2013)

Karzai’s elder brother Qayum Karzai nominated for Afghan presidency
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Afghan mines minister Shahrani resigns to run in 2014 elections
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Dr. Zalmai Rasoul nominated for 2014 presidential elections
Khaama Press (10/06/2013)

Ghani formally launches quest for presidency
Pajhwok (10/06/2013)

Limited VP choices put wannabes in tight spot
Pajhwok (10/05/2013)

US embassy rejects Karzai chief of staff Karim Khoram’s remarks
Khama Press (07/18/2013)

Afghan women suffer setback as parliament lowers quota for female lawmakers
NBC News (07/18/2013)

Afghanistan, US Dispute Millions in Customs Fines
Voice of America (07/18/2013)


Back to Top