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Hope Fades for Missing Climbers in Nepal

More than a dozen climbers from France and Nepal (search) were swept away in an avalanche on a Himalayan mountain and believed killed, an official said Monday.

"We have located the area where they were buried by the avalanche and have begun digging through the snow looking for the bodies," said Bikram Neupane of the Himalayan Rescue Association.

Rescuers were sent to the 22,900-foot Kang Guru (search) in northwestern Nepal to search for seven French and seven Nepalese climbers missing since last week.

"The missing climbers were swept and buried by the avalanche and our team have reported there is no hope of finding them alive," Neupane said after returning to the capital, Katmandu.

The mountaineers were reported missing last week after heavy snowfall hit the Himalayas last week.

Bad weather has delayed the operation and the first rescue team only reached the base camp by helicopter on Sunday.

The Royal Nepalese Army (search) said in a statement army helicopters were assisting with arial surveillance of the area.