Nepal avalanche kills guide, injures Swiss climbers

KATHMANDU (AFP) - A 26-year-old Nepalese guide died and two Swiss climbers were injured when an avalanche hit a Himalayan peak in eastern Nepal on Monday, police said.

They were attempting a summit of the 6,812m Ama Dablam peak in the Everest region when the avalanche struck early on Monday, less than a fortnight after a German and a United States climber died on the same mountain in separate incidents.

"A helicopter was deployed to rescue the two climbers and they have been brought to Kathmandu," said police official Khagendra Bahadur Khadka.

The 42-year-old man broke his back while the 35-year-old woman suffered minor injuries, Khadka told Agence France-Presse.

Last week, a German climber lost consciousness and died after summiting the peak, while a US climber fell to his death a week earlier.

Rescuers also brought back on Monday the body of a 59-year-old Italian climber who died of altitude sickness the previous day while climbing the 6,186m Kyajo Ri mountain in the Everest region.

In April, 16 guides were killed on Mount Everest in the deadliest avalanche to hit the 8,848m mountain, sparking an unprecedented shutdown of the world's highest peak and highlighting the risks taken by local guides on behalf of foreign clients.

Monday's avalanche comes less than three weeks after a snowstorm in central Nepal killed 43 hikers, porters and guides during the peak trekking season.

Thousands of people head to the Annapurna region every October, when the weather is usually at its best for trekking.