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Siachen Glacier Avalanche: Pakistan Army Base Hit, More Than 100 Soldiers Reportedly Buried

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PAKISTAN AVALANCHE
Rescue soldiers head towards the base hoping to find survivors | AP

Twelve bodies have been pulled from a Pakistani army base following a devastating avalanche on a Himalayan glacier on the border with India.

The snow ploughed into a battalion headquarters near the Siachen Glacier on Saturday, burying more than 100 soldiers, according to the Associated Press (AP).

A statement from the Pakistani military said that troops with sniffer dogs aided by helicopters had been sent to the remote glacier to search for survivors.

Local channel News 5 claimed that 30 people had died, but this figure remains unconfirmed. Soldiers at the base are from the Northern Light Infantry regiment.

Army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told the BBC: "Some bodies have been recovered but it's too early to say how many have survived and how many bodies have been recovered."

Abbas added that due to the scale of the avalanche, the rescue operation could take days. The area hit is not prone to avalanches, he said.


A Pakistan rescue helicopter heads towards the glacier

The avalanche hit the barracks at 5:45am. The rescue operation is reportedly being hampered by bad weather.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani issued a statement expressing shock at the incident, adding that the tragedy would not “undermine the high morale of soldiers and officers".

The Siachen Glacier sits in the north of the politically sensitive area of Kashmir, land whose sovereignty is contested by Pakistan and its Indian neighbour. Both countries have bases in the region, with soldiers regularly patrolling up to heights of 6,700m (22,000 feet).

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