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Avalanche buries alive Pakistanis in Himalayas

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An avalanche Saturday buried alive a garrison of at least 100 Pakistani troops stationed on a glacier high in the Himalayas that has been fought over with India for 30 years.

The avalanche smothered the garrison headquarters, located 16,000 feet high in the Gayari sector of the Siachen Glacier, shortly before 6 a.m., a Pakistani military spokesman said.

The remoteness of the area made it accessible only in French-built, high-altitude helicopters, and it was hours before the first military rescue teams were flown in.

The spokesman, Gen. Athar Abbas, said sniffer dogs, trained to find earthquake victims buried under rubble, were being used to locate the missing soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry regiment. They could number as high as 150, according to some Pakistani television reports.

There were no confirmed reports of casualties, or of survivors being found, by dusk, when helicopter flights and rescue efforts on site were suspended until daybreak.

The Siachen Glacier is located in the Kashmir region, claimed by Pakistan, India and China.