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Kashmir avalanche: Indian soldiers missing in Siachen feared dead

February 4, 2016 5:10 pm

The Indian army has said there is little chance of finding alive any of the 10 soldiers who went missing after an avalanche struck the Siachen glacier in Indian-administered Kashmir.

A spokesman said rescuers searched the site for a second day on Thursday.

The avalanche hit the high-altitude military post on the northern side of the glacier on Wednesday morning.

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Siachen is patrolled by troops from both India and Pakistan, who dispute the region’s sovereignty.

It is known as the world’s highest battlefield. Four Indian soldiers were killed by an avalanche in the same area last month.

“The area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42C in the night to a maximum of minus 25C during the day,” the army said in a statement.

“Rescue teams are braving adverse weather and effects of rarefied atmosphere to locate and rescue survivors.

“However, it is with deepest of regrets that we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are now very remote,” the statement added.

“It is a tragic event and we salute the soldiers who braved all challenges to guard our frontiers and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” the head of the army’s northern command Lt-Gen DS Hooda said.

More soldiers have died from harsh weather on the glacier than in combat since India seized control of it in 1984, narrowly pipping Pakistan. Soldiers have been deployed at heights of up to 22,000 ft (6,700m) above sea level.

The neighbours have failed to demilitarise the Siachen glacier despite several rounds of peace talks.

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