Rescue effort continues as 7 flown out from site of helicopter crash


DUSHANBE -- Six climbers and a crew member were rescued from the site of a helicopter accident in a remote mountainous region of Tajikistan while nine others remain missing after a "hard landing", emergency services said Monday (August 13).

The Tajik Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense told AFP that a rescue helicopter reached the site about 300km east of Dushanbe and brought back the first group of six mountaineers and a crew member of the Mi-8 accident.

It added that two other rescue helicopters were on their way.

The accident took place on Sunday at 11.30am GMT (7.30am EDT), said the committee.

The climbers reportedly were returning from an expedition up the Ismoili Somoni mountain, the highest mountain in the former Soviet Union.

The statement did not identify the climbers or the crew.

The accident comes two weeks after four Western cyclists were killed in a terrorist attack, striking a blow to the country's emerging tourism sector.

The "Islamic State" (IS) group said it carried out the killings -- ramming the tourists with a car and attacking them with knives.

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