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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 20:09 GMT 21:09 UK
Pakistan pilots get bravery award
Tomaz Humar and his rescuers
It was one of the most daring rescues carried out by the air force
Two Pakistani pilots who carried out a daring rescue of a mountaineer are to be given Slovenia's top award for bravery, Pakistani officials say.

Slovenian Tomaz Humar got stranded on the western end of the 8,125m Nanga Parbat mountain in the Himalayas two years ago.

He remained for around a week on top of the world's ninth-highest peak.

The helicopter pilots plucked the 38-year-old from an icy ledge 6,000m up the peak known as "killer mountain".

The Slovenian president will present Lt Col Rashid Ullah Beg and Lt Col Khalid Amir Rana with the Golden Order for Services in the country's capital, Ljubljana, this month "for risking their lives during the rescue mission", a Pakistan army statement said.

Isolated

Correspondents say that Mr Humar - climbing alone - was saved in one of the most daring rescue operations carried out by the Pakistani air force.

He was unable to get off the mountain after slipping onto an isolated icy ledge, and was further constrained by a combination of altitude sickness and poor weather, the army said in its statement.

He was further endangered by falling rocks and avalanches.

At the time the rescue operation was "unprecedented" at such a height, the army said.

The statement said he would not have been rescued if it had not been for the pilots' "incredible professional skills and undaunted courage".


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