August 4, 2008 in Nation/World

9 climbers feared dead in avalanche


At least nine climbers were feared dead on K-2, the world’s second-highest mountain, after an avalanche cut ropes used to cross a treacherous wall of ice, officials and other climbers said Sunday.

Several other mountaineers were missing, prompting a desperate rescue effort on the peak in northern Pakistan, which is regarded as more dangerous to climb than Mount Everest.

A total of 22 people, mostly foreigners, in eight different groups scaled K-2’s summit on Friday, said Nazir Sabir, of the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

As they made their way down, an avalanche carried away ropes fixed 1,148 feet below the peak, sweeping some climbers to their deaths and stranding others at a height where they would likely succumb to exposure, Sabir said.

Accounts varied on the number of dead and how they died.


16 police killed in attack at border

An attack on a border patrol station on China’s frontier with Central Asia has killed 16 police officers, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported.

Assailants used a dump truck to ram their way into the paramilitary police station in Kashi early today, and then tossed two hand grenades, Xinhua said. Sixteen other officers were injured.

Xinhua, citing police, said two attackers were arrested. It did not identify them.

The area is home to a Muslim Turkic people, the Uighurs, who have waged a simmering rebellion against Chinese rule.

OSLO, Norway

Lightning strikes race spectators

A lightning bolt struck 91 auto racing fans at a track in Norway on Sunday, and 45 people were hospitalized with minor burns, police said.

The lightning hit a hill where spectators were sitting.

The race, a national championship, was called off after the incident.

“I’ve never seen anything like it; spectators fell off their seats,” a witness, Roar Bringaker, was quoted as saying on the Web site of Norwegian paper Verdens Gang. “People got scared and ran. It was chaotic.”

From wire reports

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