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Nine dead, 11 hurt, four missing in Mont Blanc avalanche

PARIS (AP) - French authorities say a summer avalanche on the Mont Blanc range swept nine European climbers to their deaths and left 11 others injured and four missing.

The gendarme service in the Alpine city of Chamonix says the victims are from Britain, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. It says two climbers were rescued and search efforts are under way to find the missing.

All were part of an expedition to climb Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, when they got caught in an avalanche early Thursday on the north face of Mont Maudit.

Regional authorities had warned climbers this summer to be careful because of an unusually snowy spring.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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