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Avalanche traps over 100 Pakistani soldiers: army

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – An avalanche buried over 100 Pakistani soldiers near the Siachen glacier on the border with India on Saturday, the army spokesman 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,” said the spokesman, Major-General Athar Abbas, adding that rescue teams were headed to the scene.

Siachen is in the northern part 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 above sea level. Military experts say the inhospitable climate and avalanche-prone terrain have claimed more lives than gunfire.

(Reporting by Mahawish Rezvi and Rebecca Conway; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Published Date: Friday, April 6th, 2012 | 08:02 PM

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