31 Dec. 1999
Kandahar, Afghanistan - IslamicStateof Afghanistan
Afghan medical staff from U.N.'s demining unit warm themselves in early sunshine at Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan December 31. They were on alert for any emergency as power on the hijacked Indian Airlines failed without warning shortly before dawn on Friday. Auxiliary power driving ventilation during hot days and heating during frosty nights shut down suddenly, plunging the airliner and its 150-odd hostages and five suspected Kashmiri militant hijackers into darkness. Temperatures in southern Afghanistan can plunge several degrees below freezing.