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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Trace Found of Missing Island Patrol

Rescue teams searching a remote island in Russia's Far East failed Tuesday to find any trace of a border guard patrol that has been missing since last month, officials said.

The five-man patrol was last seen Dec. 27 near the weather station on mountainous Simushir Island in Russia's Far East, officials said.

Troops hunted for the missing patrol Tuesday, but found no trace of them at three shelters in the area the patrol was supposed to cover, Interfax reported. One search group found traces of a fire made about 15 days ago, it said.

Search teams were retracing the patrol's intended route -- more than 30 uninhabited kilometers of deep ravines, sheer bluffs and spewing geysers. Carrying weapons and food, the patrol set off Dec. 17 and was supposed to return Jan. 7.

Three major winter storms have swept the island since the patrol started out.