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Pakistan declares missing K2 mountaineers dead after two weeks

Islamabad, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Thursday gave up three missing mountaineers for dead nearly two weeks after they disappeared during an expedition to Mt K2 (8,611 meters).

The authorities called off search operations after inclement weather halted them for a long time.

The secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan, Karrar Haidri, told EFE that the authorities have assumed that Chile’s Juan Pablo Mohr, Iceland’s John Snorri, and Pakistan’s Ali Sadpara have died on the world’s second-biggest mountain.

The tourism minister of the state of Gilgit Baltistan, Raja Nasir Ali Khan, and the son of the Pakistani climber, Sajid Sadpara, announced the end of search and rescue operations at a press conference in the city of Skardu.

“Where the accident might have occurred, it was impossible to live for more than few hours,” Sajid said.

The three climbers went missing on Feb.5 during an attempt to scale K2.

A rescue operation with military helicopters was launched a day after their disappearance.

But they halted it on Monday due to bad weather conditions, and could not resume it afterward.

However, the military used an F-16 fighter to take photos of the K2 to search for the whereabouts of the mountaineers.

The three presumed death come after Spanish climber Sergi Mingote died in an accident on the mountain in January, while Bulgarian mountaineer Atanas Georgiev Skatov was also killed in a fall earlier this month on the same peak.

The K2, with a near-perfect pyramid shape, is known as the “Savage Mountain” given the difficulty in climbing it, and weather conditions during winter can reach -50 degrees with wind speeds of 90 km per hour.

So far, only 377 mountaineers have successfully scaled the second highest peak in the world.

Some 88 climbers had earlier died attempting to scale it since Italy’s Achille Compagnoni became the first person to climb it in 1954.

The Himalayan peak, on the border of China and Pakistan, was the last of the world’s 14 highest mountains, all over 8,000 meters, never to be scaled in winter before this season, when the feat was achieved by 10 Nepalese climbers on Jan.16. EFE-EPA

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