Officials in Pakistan say an avalanche has struck four Italians and three locals in the country's mountainous north. As yet, there have been no reports on the well-being of the mountaineers.
Four Italian and three Pakistani climbers were stranded on a mountain due to an avalanche in the north of Pakistan on Monday.
Ashraf Aman, who arranged the expedition, said the landslide hit the mountaineers as they were descending.
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The tour operator said he was as yet unaware of the consequences but air services were at the ready. "I cannot comment on their condition at this stage, but a helicopter is being arranged," he said. "Volunteers from the area are being dispatched there."
The names of the Italian climbers involved are Tarcisio Bello, who was the crew's leader, Luca Morellato, David Bergamin and Tino Toldo.
According to Karrar Haidri, secretary of the Pakistan Alpine Club, authorities were trying to send a helicopter to Ghizar, which is home to the landscapes of the Phander Valley, in an effort to rescue the climbers and return them safely back to the base camp.
"A rescue mission will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) and we are praying for the safety of stranded mountaineers," he told The Associated Press.
In March this year, two climbers perished as they were ascending the Pakistani mountain of Nanga Parbat.
Tom Ballard of the UK and Daniele Nardi of Italy were attempting a rare winter scaling of the 8,126-meter (26,660-foot) peak in the Himalayas. It is considered one of the hardest alpine feats in the world.
jsi/rt (dpa, AP)