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Asia-pacific

Avalanche buries Pakistani soldiers in Kashmir

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-07

An avalanche buried more than 100 Pakistani soldiers Saturday in the disputed Kashmir region where Indian and Pakistani forces have faced off against each other since 1984, Pakistan's military said.

REUTERS - An avalanche buried over 100 Pakistani soldiers near the Siachen glacier on the border with India on Saturday, the army said, adding that casualties were expected.

Several Pakistani television channels reported earlier that about 150 soldiers were trapped.

“At six o’clock this morning this avalanche hit a (military) headquarters. Over 100 soldiers and personnel are trapped,” army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas told Reuters.

A helicopter rescue team was searching for the soldiers with sniffer dogs, he added.

Siachen is in the north of Kashmir. Muslim-majority Kashmir is at the heart of hostilities between India and Pakistan and was the cause of two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

Indian and Pakistani forces, estimated to number between 10,000 and 20,000 troops combined, have faced off against each other in mountains above the Siachen glacier in the Karakoram range since 1984.

The no-man’s-land of Siachen is 20,000 feet (6,000 metres) above sea level. Military experts say the inhospitable climate and avalanche-prone terrain have claimed more lives than gunfire.
 

Date created : 2012-04-07

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