(FILES)In this photograph taken on May 23, 2013, unidentified mountaineers look out from the summit of Mount Everest. AFP PHOTO/Tshering SHERPA
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At least 12 Nepalese guides preparing routes up Mount Everest for commercial climbers were killed Friday by an avalanche, in the most deadly mountaineering accident ever on the world's highest peak.The second-worst accident occurred in 1996, when eight people were killed during a rogue storm while attempting to summit the mountain, which was first conquered in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.Friday's accident underscores the huge risks borne even by experienced Sherpas, who carry tents, bring food supplies, repair ladders and fix ropes to help foreign climbers who pay tens of thousands of dollars to summit the peak.The impoverished Himalayan country is home to eight of only 14 peaks in the world that are over 8,000 meters.Nepal's government has issued permits to 734 people, including 400 guides, to climb Everest this summer.
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