Pakistan's army chief pays tribute to soldiers buried in avalanche
Thursday, October 03, 2013 - 01:02
Oct. 3 - Pakistan's army chief attends special ceremony to honor 129 soldiers and 11 civilians who were buried alive in an avalanche near the Siachin glacier in April 2012. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
STORY: Pakistan's army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, on Wednesday attended a special ceremony at Gyari to pay tribute to 129 soldiers and 11 civilians of the Gyari military base who were buried alive under an avalanche in April 2012.
The massive avalanche engulfed the Pakistani army battalion headquarters near Siachin Glacier near the Indian border, burying all soldiers and civilian staff.
The military said a 200-feet (61 meters) deep mix of snow, ice, boulders and small rocks over an area a kilometer wide had covered the headquarters.
The memorial ceremony, which was organized at the avalanche site by the Pakistan army, was attended by the families of those killed in the avalanche and officers and soldiers of the Pakistan army.
Kayani, one of Pakistan's most powerful men, launched a massive search and rescue operation in the Gyari sector soon after the avalanche and vowed the soldiers would not stop searching until they had recovered the bodies of all their comrades. On Wednesday, he told the gathering how difficult the search had been.
Siachen has been described as the world's highest battlefield.
Located in the northern part of the Himalayan region of Kashmir, the no-man's-land of Siachen is 20,000 feet (6,000 meters) above sea level.
The area is also one of the world's most militarily tense frontiers, where the Indian and Pakistani armies have confronted each other over disputed territory for decades.
Between 10,000 and 20,000 Indian and Pakistani troops are stationed in the mountains above the glacier. Troops have fought each other at altitudes of over 20,000 feet in temperatures of minus 60 degrees Celsius.
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