Indian Army thanks Pakistan for offering help in Siachen rescue

New Delhi: The Indian Army on Thursday thanked the Pakistan Army for offer of help in rescue and recovery of their personnel buried in an avalanche on Siachen. "We thanked Pakistan Army for their gesture but since our resources are adequate and teams are well placed, we do not need any help," an Indian Army spokesperson said here.

Terming the offer a routine gesture, the spokesperson added ,"It is a normal gesture when any incident takes place near the Line of Control". Earlier, Pakistan Army's Director General of Military Operations Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza called Indian DGMO Lt. General Ranbir Singh and offered assistance in the ongoing rescue operation, a military statement in Islamabad said.

Ten Indian soldiers were reportedly buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in the Indian side of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet. The post was being manned by a junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck, an army statement said.

In 2012, at least 140 people, including Pakistan Army personnel and civilians, were killed when an avalanche struck an army camp in the strategically important Gayari sector. The Siachen glacier has been dubbed as the worldÂ’s highest battlefield. Avalanches and landslides are common in the area during winter and temperatures there can drop to as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them in avalanches and landslides or due to frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat.

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