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9 climbers killed, 6 missing in Nepal avalanche

KATMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche hit a team of climbers on a high Himalayan peak in Nepal on Sunday, leaving at least nine dead and six others missing, officials said. Many of the climbers were French or German.

Police official Basanta Bahadur Kuwar said the bodies of a Nepalese guide and a German man were recovered and that rescue pilots had spotted seven other bodies on the slopes of Mount Manaslu in northern Nepal. The mountain is the eighth highest in the world.

Ten other members of the team survived the avalanche but many were injured and were being flown to hospitals by rescue helicopters, he said.

Rescue pilot Pasang, who uses only one name, said three injured French citizens and two Germans had been transported to Katmandu.

He said rescuers were also attempting to bring the bodies of the dead back to the base camp.

Weather conditions were deteriorating and it was not possible to continue air searches of the mountain Sunday afternoon, Kuwar said.

The identities of the victims were still being confirmed.

The avalanche hit the climbers at a camp at 7,000 meters (22,960 feet) as they were preparing to head toward the summit, which is 8,156 meters (26,760 feet) high.

It is currently the beginning of Nepal's autumn mountaineering season.