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Search On for Over 100 Pakistani Troops Buried by Avalanche.

An avalanche in the disputed Kashmir region that hit a military camp near the Siachen glacier in the Karakoram branch of the Himalaya mountains in Pakistan has buried over a hundred troops.

The Pakistani military has resumed the search that had been suspended overnight for 135 people - including 124 soldiers that are still missing after the avalanche that struck the base in the Gayari district at about 06:00 local time (03:00 CET) on Saturday.

India and Pakistan both claim the area and have deployed thousands of troops from the Northern Light Infantry regiment, trained in mountain operations, including avalanche rescue. Helicopters, sniffer dogs and troops have also been sent to the area to help with the rescue in the remote region that is is reported to be a particularly difficult place to launch a rescue mission.

Maj Gen Athar Abbas, a Pakistani military spokesman, said the avalanche had been "very massive" and it could take several days to complete the rescue operation, which was unprecedented in scale for such a location. He said there had been no communication with any of the missing soldiers.

Although the region is prone to avalanches, the general said, they tend to occur in "forward bases" at higher altitude, where only 10 or 20 troops are located.

The numbers involved in this incident were so high, he is reported saying, because avalanches were not expected in the immediate area of the camp that was struck.

An avalanche killed 24 Pakistani troops in 2010 - this is believed to be the heaviest loss of life in a previous such incident until now.

2012 - The Tripoli Post

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Publication:The Tripoli Post (Tripoli, Libya)
Date:Apr 8, 2012
Words:279
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