Pakistan Army offers help in Siachen rescue

Islamabad, Feb 4 (IANS) Pakistan on Thursday offered its assistance in the rescue and recovery of Indian Army personnel buried in an avalanche on Siachen glacier.

Pakistan Army’s Director General of Military Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza called Indian DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and offered assistance in the ongoing rescue operation, a military statement here said.

Ten Indian soldiers were reportedly buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in India-administered Kashmir on Wednesday.

The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.

An Indian army statement earlier said the post was being manned by a junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck.

In 2012, at least 140 people, including Pakistan Army personnel and civilians, were killed when an avalanche struck an army camp in the strategically important Gayari sector.

The Siachen Glacier has been dubbed as the world’s highest battlefield. Avalanches and landslides are common in the area during winter and temperatures there can drop as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them in avalanches and landslides or due to frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat.

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