Hopes fade for avalanche survivors

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Associated Press

Posted on April 9, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Updated Monday, Apr 9 at 9:02 AM

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Rescue teams still haven't been able to dig out any survivors from the avalanche more than two days ago that buried more than 120 soldiers in a Himalayan region of Pakistan near the Indian border.

A team of U.S. military experts has been sent to the scene to help in the rescue effort. According to a U.S. official, there had been a request for help from the Pakistani army. The mission comes amid a near-breakdown of relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.

The Pakistanis say Switzerland and Germany are also sending small teams of experts to help. But there is very little hope now that even a small number of people will come out alive.

The military says at least 124 soldiers and 11 civilian contractors were buried. Publicly, the army has held out hope of survivors.

The missing soldiers are part of a Pakistani military deployment to a glacier that forms the northern part of the Kashmir region -- disputed between Pakistan and India. It's the main source of tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.

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APPHOTO ISL807: In this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations on Sunday, April 8, 2012, A Pakistan's army helicopter, bottom, and soldiers are seen at the avalanche incident site in Siachen, in northern Pakistan. Rescue workers used bulldozers Sunday to dig through huge banks of snow following a massive avalanche a day earlier that engulfed a military complex and buried at least 135 people, most of them soldiers, in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border. (AP Photo/Inter Services Public Relations, HO) (asterisk) (8 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO ISL807 (04/08/12)>>

APPHOTO ISL806: In this photo released by Inter Services Public Relations on Sunday, April 8, 2012, Pakistan's army soldiers and vehicles are seen close to the avalanche incident site in Siachen, in northern Pakistan. Rescue workers used bulldozers Sunday to dig through huge banks of snow following a massive avalanche a day earlier that engulfed a military complex and buried at least 135 people, most of them soldiers, in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border. (AP Photo/Inter Services Public Relations, HO) (8 Apr 2012)

<<APPHOTO ISL806 (04/08/12)>>

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