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Two foreign climbers go missing on Nanga Parbat

Updated June 28, 2017

Two foreign climbers attempting to scale Nanga Parbat have gone missing, local police officials informed Dawn.

Climbers Alberto Zerain Berasategi and Mariano Galacan belonging to Spain and Argentina respectively, went missing while attempting to climb the 'killer mountain'.

They were a part of 14-member foreign expedition team with members belonging to multiple countries, including Italy, Korea, Spain and Argentina. The climbers left from the base camp of Nanga Parbat in Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan to summit the peak on June 18.

However, police said that after attempting the climb, 12 members of the team have returned to the base camp while two climbers who were on the higher camp have not been in contact with the team for the past three days.

A snow avalanche is feared to have hit the missing climbers.

Muhammad Iqbal, the organiser of the expedition, told Dawn that the rescue operation to trace missing climbers is underway.

Between 40 and 50 local porters and guides were accompanying the team for the climb which usually takes about 45 days, Iqbal said, adding that none of the groups managed to reach the summit due to a snow avalanche and inclement weather.

Iqbal said that Army Aviation Authority has been requested to provide a helicopter to begin the rescue operation to trace the missing climbers.

Nine foreign tourists and their guide had been killed by militants around Nanga Parbat four years ago. The incident had discouraged foreign tourists from attempting to climb the peak until December 2015.