Conflict & Justice

Bodies found on Siachen Glacier where avalanche wiped out Pakistan army base


A Pakistani soldier wearing sunglasses looks on at the avalanche site during an ongoing operation at Gayari camp near the Siachen glacier on April 18, 2012. Rescuers are still searching for nearly 140 soldiers buried by the mass of snow and rock at Gayari camp near the Siachen glacier, 4,000 metres above sea level.



The first bodies have been recovered from the site of an avalanche that buried 140 people at a high-altitude Pakistani army camp last month, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Apr. 7 avalanche sent a huge wall of snow crashing into the remote Siachen Glacier, situated high in the mountains in disputed Kashmir region, covering the Gayari camp.

Rescuers have been digging in tunnels in the hard mass of snow and ice ever since to try to recover the bodies of 129 soldiers and 11 civilians.

A team of around 450 local and foreign rescuers have been working round the clock, according to Pakistan Today

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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.

On day 50 of a sustained rescue and recovery operation, the bodies of two soldiers had been recovered over the weekend, Pakistan's The Nation reported, and moved to Gomal Army hospital.

"The body of one more soldier was found today from the avalanche site," the military said in a statement.

"It was recovered from a place which is very close to a site from where the first body was found yesterday."

A third body spotted in the same area was also being recovered, AFP reported.

Kashmir has been the cause of two wars between India and Pakistan and the nuclear-armed rivals fought over Siachen in 1987, though guns on the glacier have largely fallen silent since a peace process began in 2004.

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