Siachen avalanche: Pak military offers rescue help to Indian soldiers

Rawalpindi, Feb 4: The director general military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan Army called his Indian counterpart on Thursday and offered assistance for the rescue and recovery of Indian Army personnel who went missing after an avalanche hit the Siachen glacier area.
Ten Indian soldiers were feared buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in the India-held portion of Kashmir on Wednesday, The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.
An Indian army statement had earlier stated the post was being manned by a junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck.
In 2012, at least 140 people including personnel of Pakistan Army and civilians were killed when an avalanche struck an Army camp in the strategically important Gayari sector.
The Siachen Glacier has been dubbed the world’s highest battlefield. Avalanches and landslides are common in the area during the winter and temperatures there can drop as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.
In January four soldiers were killed by an avalanche, while last year another four died when their vehicle was buried under an avalanche near Leh, the main city in the high-altitude region known as Ladakh. An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them from avalanches, landslides, frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat.

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