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Avalanche buries 100 Pak soldiers in Siachen

Islamabad, April 7
A massive avalanche slammed into a Pakistan Army base in the Siachen sector close to the border with India today, burying over 100 sleeping soldiers under snow and triggering a frantic search for survivors.

The bodies of some soldiers had been pulled out of the snow, state-run Radio Pakistan quoted the army's media wing as saying. It did not say how many bodies had been recovered.

Some reports suggested that 135 to 150 soldiers had been hit by the avalanche, but these could not be independently confirmed. The rescue operation will take some time to complete, the report said.

The avalanche hit a battalion headquarters at Gyari in Siachen sector at 5.45 am. Chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told the media that over 100 soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry, including a Colonel, were trapped following the avalanche. "It's a very massive scale slide.

They (soldiers) are under the slide but we haven't lost hope. The rescue work is on, and we are keeping our fingers crossed," he said.

Helicopters, sniffer dogs, additional troops and teams of doctors were sent to the desolate region as the army launched a massive rescue operation.

Army officials said heavy engineering machinery had been moved by air from the garrison city of Rawalpindi to speed up the rescue work.

However, state-run Pakistan Television said rescuers were facing difficulties in moving heavy machinery to the far-flung area. Agencies

 

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