Search launched for French trekkers missing in India floods

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French authorities have launched a search along with Indian forces for three French tourists missing in the flooded northern region of Ladakh, the foreign ministry in Paris said on Tuesday.

"Search operations are under way to find these three people in collaboration with the Indian army," said deputy spokeswoman Christine Fages.

The French embassy in New Delhi "is fully mobilised for this purpose alongside the Indian authorities," she added.

"In these difficult circumstances, we stand beside the (missing people's) families to bring them all necessary help and support."

The trekkers have been missing since Thursday evening near the village of Sumda Chenmo in the mountainous region after being cut off by a flooded river, according to an email from the family of one of the tourists seen by AFP.

The family said sherpas from the agency that organised the hike could not reach them, but that the area was accessible by helicopter.

Hundreds of people were still missing four days after flash floods hit the remote Himalayan region, killing at least 172. An Italian and a Spaniard were among the other foreign tourists reported missing.

© 2010 AFP

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