Avalanche kills Swedish skier in Indian Kashmir: Police

Kashmiri villagers and policemen carry the body of a Swedish skier who has been identified as 25-year-old Daniel Akesson inside a hospital in Tangmarg, near the tourist town of Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir. (AP)
Updated 18 January 2018
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Avalanche kills Swedish skier in Indian Kashmir: Police

KASHMIR REGION: A Swedish tourist was killed Thursday when an avalanche tore through a Himalayan resort in Indian Kashmir popular with skiers, police said.
The 25-year-old victim was skiing with a fellow Swede in Gulmarg, a hill resort in Indian-administered Kashmir frequented by families and winter adventurers alike, when the avalanche barrelled down the slopes.
Rescuers found one of them alive and “safe” in the snow but his fellow skier was killed in the deluge, said local police superintendent Imtiyaz Hussain.
Hussain said an avalanche warning had been sounded the day before by local authorities after heavy snowfall had blanketed the mountains in the western Himalayas.
The pair were believed to be experienced skiers exploring the uppermost reaches of Gulmarg reached by a high-altitude gondola, he said.
Nestled in the mountain range that encircles the Indian-controlled Kashmir Valley, Gulmarg is a stone’s throw from the highly-militarised disputed border with Pakistan.
The “Gulmarg Gondola” is one of the world’s highest cable cars, ferrying passengers to an altitude of 4,100 meters (13,500 feet) and depositing them at the top of a dizzying run that challenges even the most experienced skiers.
For the more adventurous, there are plenty of opportunities to veer off-piste and slice through pristine snows.
But it is not without risks. Last June, seven people including two children were killed when the cable car crashed to the ground.
Avalanches are also common, killing tourists and soldiers alike in the steep, remote mountains.
Last year, 20 people died in a series of avalanches across the northern reaches of the Himalayan territory. In 2010, a snowslide killed 17 Indian soldiers during a training exercise at a high-altitude military school.
At least 140 people, mostly soldiers, were killed when a single massive avalanche hit a Pakistani military camp in 2012 on the other side of the border.


Israeli student murdered in Australia while on phone with sister

Updated 21 min 14 sec ago
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Israeli student murdered in Australia while on phone with sister

  • Police appealed to the public for help tracking down the killer of 21-year-old Aiia Maasarwe, whose body was found near Melbourne University
  • Police are still investigating the case

SYDNEY: An Israeli student has been killed in a late-night attack in Australia while she was speaking on the phone with her sister, police said Thursday.
Police appealed to the public for help tracking down the killer of 21-year-old Aiia Maasarwe, whose body was found early Wednesday near the campus of the Melbourne university where she was studying.
“This was an horrendous, horrific attack inflicted on a completely innocent young woman who was a visitor to our city,” Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper told reporters in Melbourne Thursday.
Maasarwe, who was reportedly five months into a year-long exchange at Melbourne’s LaTrobe University, was riding a tram home from a comedy club to the suburb of Bundoora before she was met by her attacker around midnight.
She was talking on the phone with her sister, who was overseas and raised the alarm after something went awry mid-conversation, police said.
“(Her sister) heard the sound of the phone falling to the ground and heard some voices,” Stamper said.
Her body was found Wednesday morning by passers-by at 7:00am about 50 meters (165 feet) from the stop where she exited the tram.
Stamper said the report from her sister came in at about the same time.
Police would not confirm reports they were investigating a sexual assault but said known sex offenders are an “active line of enquiry.”
Officers retrieved a black baseball cap and a grey t-shirt they believe were worn by the perpetrator from the crime scene, which they described as “very distressing.”
The victim’s family, who are on their way to Australia, described Maasarwe as “happy,” “adventurous” and “smart.”
“I was in shock, I couldn’t believe it... the day before my wife had said to me, ‘We’ll have to go to Australia, Australia’s very safe, very nice’,” the victim’s uncle Rame Maasarwe told national broadcaster ABC from the United States.
“We cannot believe that something like this happened in Australia, we think it’s very safe there.”
Maasarwe was reportedly planning to go to China to work with her father’s business after her studies.
Police said they were “confident” of finding the perpetrator.