Six soldiers were killed and one was missing when an avalanche that struck
the Siachen glacier area before dawn today during inter-post movement of troops.
Six men belonging to the 1st Assam Regiment, deployed in the Hanif sub-sector in
Siachen glacier area, died in the avalanche that struck at about 6.13 a.M, an
Army Spokesman Lt Col J S Brar said in Srinagar.
One soldier is still missing and efforts are being made to locate him, Brar
said. "The incident happened during inter- post movement of the soldiers," Army
sources said in New Delhi
This is for the first time in several years that an avalanche has hit an Indian
position in the glacier area, the sources said. Siachen glacier is considered as
the world's highest battlefield.
The Assam unit is part of the 102 Siachen Brigade and is located at altitudes of
around 15-16,000 feet, the sources said.
Brar said the operation to trace the missing soldier will be resumed tomorrow
after it was called off during the day due to bad weather.
"Avalanche rescue teams are already deployed at the site. The moment, the
weather clears up, we will launch the rescue operation again, he added.
An avalanche had hit a Pakistani Army camp in the glacier area last year killing
over 100 troops.
India has deployed its troops in Siachen for close to 30 years now and has lost
more people to the weather and terrain than to enemy bullets.
However, it has brought down such casualties to a large extent by ensuring
proper adaptation of the personnel to the conditions and through extensive
scientific research by DRDO to improve living conditions of jawans there.
India and Pakistan, which have held several rounds of talks to resolve the
Siachen issue, were close to an agreement a few years back on demilitarising the
region but the accord failed to see the light of the day as Pakistan refused to
authenticate its military position.
Pakistan Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had recently said that India had
hardened its position on the Siachen issue as compared to the 1989 stance it had
adopted, saying that it "takes two hands to clap".
Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh has made it clear that the Indian military would not
like to move out of the "strategically important" icy heights for which a "lot
of blood has been shed".
He has said the Army has conveyed its views to the government which has to take
a final decision in that regard.