At least 10 climbers were killed and several others missing after a snowstorm caused avalanches in mountains north of the Iranian capital Tehran, state media reported on Saturday.
State TV said that many of the climbers had been missing since Friday, when two deaths were reported, while the number of missing increased as the families involved contacted the authorities.
Iranian Radio quoted Mehdi Valipur, head of emergency operations in the Iranian Red Crescent, as saying that nine people died on the mountain and one died in hospital after being rescued.
Valipur said earlier that at least seven climbers were still missing on three popular itineraries.
The search ended by nightfall on Saturday, but will resume on Sunday morning.
A member of the Red Crescent team said the rescue mission was complicated due to bad weather and snow.
State television broadcast footage of a rescue operation by helicopter on the Tushal and Kolachal summits in the Alborz mountain range overlooking Tehran. The picture showed members of the Red Crescent carrying a dead body on a stretcher at the foot of a snowy mountain.
Tehran is located at the foot of the Alborz mountain range, which includes several ski resorts and the highest peak is 5,671 meters (18,606 feet).
The semi-official Iranian news agency ISNA reported that snow and winds have caused chaos in several parts of Iran, and that maritime authorities are searching for seven crew members of an Iranian transport ship that capsized in the turbulent waters of the Gulf on Friday.
“We are trying to find the missing by mobilizing all our facilities and forces, and informing passing ships and maritime search and rescue centers in Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan,” said Ismail Makizadeh, deputy head of the Iranian Regional Maritime Authority. It was quoted by ISNA.
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