At least eight climbers killed on Nepal peak

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The permit listed four South Korean climbers, but a fifth member had joined the team later, according to Suresh Dakal of Trekking Camp Nepal.

South Korea's foreign ministry said it is closely cooperating with the Nepalese government for the retrieval of the bodies.

A rescue crew aboard a helicopter then spotted eight bodies as it circled the area from above, police said. A police team was heading toward the base camp on foot and will likely reach there on Sunday, Budamagar said.

He added: 'Everything is gone, all the tents are blown apart'.

"All nine bodies have been found and the team are in the process of bringing them down", said Siddartha Gurung, a chopper pilot who is coordinating the retrieval mission.

A storm on Friday night destroyed their camp and two rescue helicopters sent early Saturday were unable to land because of bad weather conditions on the mountain, said police official Bir Bahadur Budamagar.

At least eight climbers died when a violent snowstorm destroyed their camp on a Himalayan peak in western Nepal.

The previous year, 16 Sherpas were killed on Everest when an avalanche swept through the Khumbu Icefall.

Rarely-climbed Gurja lies in Nepal's Annapurna region, next to avalanche-prone Dhaulagiri - the world's seventh highest mountain.

The climbers had been waiting for the bad weather to clear so they could begin their climb on the risky Himalayan peak.

A sixth South Korean national was staying in a village in the valley below the mountain when the powerful storm struck and survived, according to a local police report.

The South Korean team were planning to scale the mountain via a never-climbed route, according to the Korean Alpine Federation.

Only 30 people have successfully climbed to its peak compared with more the than 8,000 people who have reached the summit of the world's highest mountain, Everest.

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