Pakistan avalanche kills 11 people from nomadic tribe

At least 11 people from a nomadic tribe, including a four-year-old boy, have been killed in an avalanche in northern Pakistan.

The snow struck as the group crossed a mountainous area in the Shounter Pass with their goat herds.

A further 25 people have been injured and a rescue operation is ongoing.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed grief over the deaths, and said incidents such as avalanches were increasing due to climate change.

The avalanche happened in the early hours of Saturday in part of the pass that bridges the Astore district of the Gilgit Baltistan region to neighbouring Azad Kashmir, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Four women and a four-year-old boy were among those who died, said senior police officer Ziarat Ali said, as quoted by the Associated Press news agency.

Rescue teams have faced challenges in reaching the area due to its remote location and difficult terrain.

Troops have been helping local officials with the rescue operation, and two military helicopters were scrambled. According to witnesses, local residents also joined the effort to rescue people trapped under the snow.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Sharif said the disaster had "caused great grief and loss of precious lives".

"Due to the effects of climate change, such incidents are increasing in Pakistan. The whole world has to fulfil its responsibilities to protect developing countries like Pakistan from these harmful effects."

Pakistan's northern areas are vulnerable to climate change and have been experiencing frequent extreme weather events.

The northern region is sometimes referred to as part of the "third pole" because it contains more glacial ice than anywhere in the world outside of the polar regions.

Some of these immense glaciers are already melting due to climate change, creating more than 3,000 lakes. And last year, the country saw devastating floods that killed more than 1,700 people.