Missing Swedish skier rescued


SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) - A skier from Sweden was killed and his companion was rescued Thursday after an avalanche hit them while skiing in Indian-controlled Kashmir, police said.

The 25-year-old victim was skiing with a fellow Swede in Gulmarg, a hill resort in Indian-administered Kashmir frequented by families and winter adventurers alike, when the avalanche barrelled down the slopes. Soon after the duo was reported missing, a ski rescue team of Jammu and Kashmir police assisted by the cable corporation staff launched a search operation.

On Wednesday evening some upper parts of the region received snowfall, following which authorities issued avalanche warnings for people living in higher reaches and urged them not to venture in avalanche prone zones.

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Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir and have caused heavy death tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the mountainous and forested militarized Line of Control that divides Kashmir between the nuclear-armed rivals.

For the more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities to veer off-piste and slice through pristine snows. In 2010, a snowslide killed 17 Indian soldiers during a training exercise at a high-altitude military school.