Adverse weather kills 50 soldiers in Siachen

New Delhi


Fifty Indian soldiers have died in Siachen since the start of 2011 due to adverse weather, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said Friday.

The minister said landslides, floods, avalanches and harsh climatic conditions killed 24 soldiers in 2011, 12 in 2012, 10 in 2013 and four until July 20 this year.

India and Pakistan dispute the ownership of Siachen.

Jaitley said Indian troops deployed in the icy heights "were suitably equipped, trained and organized to face the operational challenges and carry out their mandated tasks".

"All efforts are made to minimize the casualties by providing suitable infrastructure, habitat, medical support and casualty evacuation procedures," he said.

The minister said the government was cognizant of the strategic importance of Siachen.

"Requisite forces have been deployed in the area keeping in view the threat perception, ground situation and other operational aspects," said Jaitley. - IANS