Avalanche buries Pakistani soldiers
Saturday 07 April 2012
An avalanche has smashed into a Pakistani army base on a Himalayan glacier along the Indian border, burying around 100 soldiers, the military said.
Helicopters, sniffer dogs and troops were deployed to the remote Siachen Glacier to rescue those trapped, according to a military statement.
The avalanche hit a battalion headquarters in the glacier's Gayari sector at 5.45am local time, according to a security official.
Siachen is on the northern tip of the divided Kashmir region claimed by both India and Pakistan.
Both countries station hundreds of troops there, who brave viciously cold temperatures, altitude sickness and high winds for months at a time.
Troops have been deployed at elevations of up to 6,700 metres and have skirmished intermittently since 1984. The glacier is known as the world's highest battlefield.
More soldiers have died from the harsh weather there than combat.
The headquarters in Gayari is the main gateway through which troops and supplies pass on their way to other more remote outposts in the sector.
It is situated in a valley between two high mountains, close to a military hospital, according to an officer who was stationed there in 2003.
"I can't comprehend how an avalanche can reach that place," said the officer, who did not give his name. "It was supposed to be safe."
Conflict began in 1984 when India occupied the heights of the 49-mile glacier, fearing Pakistan wanted to claim the territory. Pakistan also deployed its troops. Both armies remain entrenched despite the ceasefire, costing the poverty-stricken countries many millions of dollars each year.
Pakistan and India have fought three wars since the partition of the subcontinent following independence from Britain in 1947. Two of the wars have been over Kashmir, which both claim in its entirety.
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
Winston Churchill: From accusations of anti-Semitism to the blunt refusal that led to the deaths of millions
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...