Avalanche Buries over 100 Pakistani Troops at Siachen

ISLAMABAD – At least 100 Pakistani soldiers were buried alive early on Saturday in a remote area in the Himalayas when an avalanche smashed into their camp, the military said.

Troops with sniffer dogs, aided by helicopters, were frantically trying to find signs of life in the snow after the avalanche engulfed the remote camp in mountainous Gayari, Siachen.

A team of doctors and paramedics has also been rushed to the high-altitude region, which suffers extreme weather conditions – temperatures on the strategic Siachen glacier plummet to minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94F).

“More than 100 soldiers of NLI (Northern Light Infantry) including a colonel were trapped when the avalanche hit a military camp,” army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told.

“The rescue mission is continuing and rescuers are trying to rescue the soldiers.”

Harsh weather and the high altitude claims many more lives than actual fighting over Siachen.

A military statement said the avalanche struck early on Saturday morning, raising the possibility that soldiers were asleep at the time.

“Around 100 persons of army came under a snow slide early this morning in Gayari sector near Skardu,” it said.

“Rescue efforts are on. Sniffing dogs, helicopters and troops on ground are employed on rescue efforts.”

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