25 killed in avalanche in Pakistan

At least 25 people were killed after they were buried in an avalanche while digging for gemstones in a remote area of northwestern Pakistan, a regional police chief said Friday. Ataullah Wazir said the incident happened on Thursday in the area of Kohistan, 350 kilometers (210 miles) northeast of Peshawar, where snow has fallen in recent weeks.

The area is rich with precious stones, which local villagers sell in the open market. Wazir said rescuers with the help of local villagers were trying to pull out the bodies.

"We have found some bodies, but most are still to be recovered," he told The Associated Press by telephone from Kohistan.

Wazir gave no further details, and said they learned of the incident late because of the remoteness of the area, reports the AP. I.L.

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