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.
- 3 Pansexual: What is it - and when did the term gain popularity?
- 4 Netherlands to withdraw food and shelter from failed asylum-seekers after just 'a few weeks'
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Nazi 'gold train': Fire engulfs suspected location of vehicle in Poland
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
A Chinese journalist has appeared on state television 'confessing' to causing the stock market chaos
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
UN investigating British Government over human rights abuses caused by IDS welfare reforms
£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is profitable and privately...
£30 - 38k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a digitally focussed Account Man...
£21000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading...
£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing professional legal pr...