Siachen avalanche traps 10 Indian soldiers

Srinagar: An avalanche hit the Siachen Glacier in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir early Wednesday, trapping 10 Indian army soldiers in the snow.

Army and air force teams were trying to rescue the soldiers in the northern part of the glacier, army spokesman Col. S.D. Goswami said. Rescue dogs also have been pressed into service.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both entirely.

The rival nations also dispute the undemarcated border through the Siachen Glacier at an altitude of nearly 19,000 feet (5,800 meters).

Thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops are stationed on the freezing Himalayan terrain, where more troops have died from the grueling conditions than from hostile fire.

Last month, four Indian soldiers on foot patrol were killed by an avalanche in the same region.

In 2012, an avalanche in the Pakistan-controlled part of the glacier killed 140 people, including 129 soldiers.

The two countries have discussed ways to demilitarize the Siachen Glacier without success.


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