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Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

Travel, Asia

Taiwanese tourist dies in Pakistan mountain accident

AFP | Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

ISLAMABAD - A Taiwanese tourist has plunged to her death in a popular mountaineering area in northern Pakistan, officials said on Saturday.

The woman fell from a cliff in the scenic Hunza Valley on Friday as she and a male French climber were returning from a trek to a nearby glacier.

"Yu-Ching Chang, a female tourist from Taiwan has died after falling from a cliff while returning from Patundas peak on Friday," local police official Fakhruddin Ahmed told AFP.

Police and local volunteers have retrieved her body from the glacier, he added.

Hussain Jami, another official, said Chang's French friend had reported the accident to police in the nearby village of Passu.

The dramatic scenery of the Hunza Valley is popular with tourists, who often trek without guides as the area is considered relatively safe for foreigners, unscathed by the insurgency gripping other parts of Pakistan.

Imtiaz Ali, owner of local tour operator Hunza Holiday, said most independent trekkers in the area stick to safe routes, but the accident took place on a treacherous stretch of the mountain.

"The descending route that the tourists took is very dangerous - even the locals take very care and avoid the Bandh trek," Ali told AFP.

"One miscalculated step will result in nothing short of death as one would fall thousands feet down on rocks."

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