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Death toll up to 8 after Swiss Alps storm: Police

Agency Press France

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GENEVA — A sixth person has died after a group of 14 skiers were caught up in a storm, police said Tuesday, after the bodies of two climbers were also found elsewhere in the Swiss Alps.

“Late Tuesday morning, a sixth person died. The deceased was a 52-year-old Bulgarian woman,” police in Valais canton said in a statement.

Bad weather in the Pigne d’Arolla area of the Swiss Alps on Sunday had caught the group of skiers by surprise.

The group had set out from the Dix rest-stop and had intended to make it to Vignettes to sleep, trekking along a route called The Serpentine.

The manager of a rest-stop in the remote mountain region sent out a call for help at dawn on Monday, triggering a major relief operation that involved seven helicopters, police said.

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One person, a 59-year-old Italian national who was serving as a guide for the group, was found dead on the scene following a fall, police said.

Four other Italian nationals, two couples aged 45 and 53, died in hospital Monday.

Three more people, a 72-year-old Swiss man, a 56-year-old Frenchwoman and a 43-year-old Italian woman, remained in serious condition, police said, adding that one of the cases was considered life-threatening.

Others in the group were merely suffering from ‘mild hypothermia’. All the families had been informed of the tragedy, police said.

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

AP Associated Press

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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