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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hindu Pilgrim Rescue

SRINAGAR, India () -- Taking advantage of clear skies, helicopters took off from military bases in northern India on Monday to rescue hundreds of Hindu pilgrims still stranded in snow near a Himalayan cave shrine.

Thousands of pilgrims, among the 80,000 people pinned down in the mountains by snow and rain last week, made it on foot to Pahalgam, the starting point for an arduous three-day trek to a temple at 4,115 meters honoring the Hindu god of destruction.

More than 160 people have died and 700 were still trapped in snow near the shrine Monday, after unseasonably cold weather and hard rain in some areas.