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Landslide kills three troops; 18 rescuers missing

November 30, 2012

MUZAFFARABAD, Nov 30: A landslide killed three Pakistani soldiers in the high mountains of Kashmir on Friday and 18 people sent to rescue them were missing after being hit by a second landslip, officials said.

A military rescue operation swung into action after heavy snows triggered the accident at a remote outpost in the Kel area of Azad Kashmir near the Line of Control.

The bodies of the three soldiers had been recovered but rescuers were still searching for the eight soldiers and 10 civilians from the search party caught in the second landslide, local official Raja Saqib Majeed said.

“We hope that rescue workers will find some of them alive. Let’s hope for the best,” he said, but added that efforts were being hampered by continued bad weather.

In April, about 140 soldiers were buried when a huge wall of snow crashed into the Siachen Glacier base. They have all been declared dead, although some of the bodies remain buried.

In Friday’s accident, the first landslide hit in the early hours, said Mr Majeed, deputy commissioner of Neelam district, of which Kel is part.

The 18-strong team was quickly dispatched to search for them at the site, which is 130km from Muzaffarabad, he said. But he added that “another landslide hit this rescue party and they were buried under it”.—AFP