Kashmir avalanche buries Pakistani troops
Source: Aljazeera – Saturday, 07 April 2012
An avalanche in Pakistan has left at least 100 soldiers buried under deep Himalayan snow in the divided Kashmir region, according to local media reports.
The soldiers were operating near the Siachen glacier in the northern tip of Kashmir when the avalanche hit in the early morning hours of Saturday.
"At six o'clock this morning this avalanche hit a [military] headquarters," Major-General Athar Abbas, the Pakistan military spokesman, said.
"Over 100 soldiers and personnel are trapped."
Rescue teams were headed to the scene, and the army would comment later on whether there were any casualties, he said..
The Associated Press news agency quoted a security official as identifying the trapped battalion as being headquartered in Gayari sector.
Military sources have told Al Jazeera that helicopters had been flown to what has been described as the "very remote location" on the glacier.
The Siachen glacier, on the tip of the Kashmir region that both Pakistan and India claim, is home to an estimated 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers combined from both nations.
Siachen, rising to 6,000 metres above sea level, has seen more soldiers die near the Karakoram base from weather-related incidents than gunfire since 1984.
Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said that with more than 150 military outposts surrounding the glacier, the Pakistan and Indian sides face not only each other but "also face nature ... [on] the highest battleground in the world".
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