Hope for trapped Pak avalanche victims

Apr 09, 2012, 09:26 IST | Agencies

Pakistan's military is hoping for a miracle as rescue teams resume their search for 124 soldiers and 11 civilians buried by a Himalayan avalanche.

The victims are trapped in one of the most unforgiving places on Earth, at an altitude of 15,000 feet near the Siachen Glacier in the Karakoram mountain range. Helicopter rescue teams and troops on the ground with sniffer dogs are being used in efforts to reach those who are trapped.

Still snowed under: According to officials, 124 soldiers and 11 civilians are still trapped in the avalanche. Pic/AFP

The Pakistani army has listed those who are missing ranging from officers to waiters to barbers.Siachen is in the northern part of the Himalayan region of Kashmir. It is a major conflict zone where the Indian and Pakistani armies have confronted each other over disputed territory for decades.

Military experts say the avalanche-prone area has claimed more lives than gunfire. Muslim-majority Kashmir is at the heart of hostility between India and Pakistan and has been the cause of two of their three full-scale wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

Kayani reviews rescue work
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has reached Skardu where he will review rescue activities to recover troops trapped after an avalanche hit their base. “Let’s hope for a miracle,” said an official, requesting anonymity. 

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