Conflict & Justice

Weather hampers search for 120+ Pakistani soldiers buried in Himalayan avalanche (VIDEO)


Kashmiri villagers search for their belongings after their huts were buried under snow due to avalanche at Ramwari that killed at least nine Indian soldiers on duty in the mountains of Kashmir on February 23, 2012.



Bad weather forced Pakistani rescuers to postpone their efforts at a Pakistani army base on a Himalayan glacier close to India hit by an avalanche early Saturday, leaving 124 soldiers and 11 civilians missing.

More from GlobalPost: 130 feared buried in Himalayan avalanche that hit Pakistani military base

More than 12 hours after the disaster at the entrance to the Siachen Glacier, no survivors had been found, although hundreds of troops were reportedly at the scene with helicopters, sniffer dogs and rescue equipment.

"We haven’t really been able to recover anyone dead or alive so far," the Washington Post quoted Major Gen. Athar Abbas, a military spokesman in Islamabad, as saying.

The avalanche crashed down onto the rear headquarters building of the base, located near the northeastern city of Skardu on the Siachen Glacier, in the disputed Kashmir region.

The Siachen glacier is known as the highest militarized zone in the world: India and Pakistan, which both claim the region, have deployed troops at elevations of up to 22,000 feet.

While a cease-fire has been observed since 2003, talks have failed to agree on the location of a boundary along the glacier.

During the avalanche, a blanket of rock and snow covering one square kilometer slid over the base, burying it under about 70 feet of snow, the Associated Press cited a statement from the military as saying.

"It’s on a massive scale. Everything is completely covered," Abbas reportedly said.

A total of 124 army soldiers and 11 civilians were housed at the outpost, the AP wrote.

According to a report in the Daily Times, darkness and bad weather forced rescuers to postpone their search on Saturday.

"The dark and bad weather have forced us to stop rescue work. We will resume it early morning," the report quoted a security official as saying.

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