MANSEHRA: Personnel of Pakistan Army on Sunday rescued all the seven people who had been stranded for over two weeks at a snowbound hill in the Spat Malli area of Upper Kohistan.

“The rescue operation is over now as the army has successfully airlifted all the seven people stranded in Spat Malli because of the heavy snowfall in the region,” district police officer in Lower Kohistan Sulman Khan told reporters.

The army team led by Col­onel Shoaib of the 10 Corps airlifted Mohammad Naq­eem, Mohammad Hafeez, Haq Sher, Mohammad Daud, Mohammad Bakhtiar, Mohammad Shams, and Said Naseer through two helicopters to Pattan, the district headquarters of Lower Kohistan, from where they headed for their respective areas by road.

The seven men, who had gone to the Spat valley in search of precious gemstones, lost contact with their families after heavy snowfall covered the region and blocked routes to the mountains.

The operation, which began at about 8am in the morning on Sunday, was accomplished at around 2.30pm.

One of the seven men rescued told reporters that they had gone to highest peak where they could have met some fatal trouble if not rescued timely.

“We are thankful to the army and the district administration for the rescue operation,” he said.

According to him, about 28 more people were present at the lower part of snowbound Spat Malli, but they were safe and refused to be airlifted to Pattan.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Home and Tribal Affairs Department on Saturday sought the help of the army to rescue the seven men.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2019

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