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Russian Caucasus avalanche kills five climbers

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Five people have been killed by an avalanche in the Caucasus mountains in southern Russia, say emergency workers.

The four climbers and their instructor were said to have been close to the summit of the 3,700m (12,140ft) Gedan-tau peak when the snow hit.

Search teams with helicopters found the bodies of those killed buried in the snow. Four other climbers survived.

Avalanches are a common hazard facing mountaineers and winter sports enthusiasts in the Caucasus.

Local emergency spokesman Oleg Ugnivenko said the novice climbers were all Russians in the 20s while their instructor was aged 40.

Mr Ugnivenko was quoted by the Associated Press as saying they had all just completed a week-long intensive climbing course at the base of the mountain, in Kabardino-Balkaria region.



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