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Bodies of US climbers spotted in Argentina

View of the Aconcagua mountain in Argentina taken on February 2, 2013
View of the Aconcagua mountain in Argentina taken on February 2, 2013

Rescuers hunting for two American mountaineers missing in the Andes since last week said Monday they had spotted two bodies on a remote pass in the area where the climbers vanished.

"The (two) bodies were spotted from a helicopter at about 6,400 meters on an access route that is not often used" and rarely so by advanced climbers, Argentine police officer Antonio Ibaceta said.

He said there were no signs of life, citing the searcher who spotted the two on Aconcagua, which soars almost 7,000 meters in the Andes in Argentina's Mendoza province along its border with Chile.

Rescuers however believe the bodies are those of Richard Von Rueden, 22, and Francis Keenan, 28, Ibaceta said.

They had registered as required in the Aconcagua Park's climbers' books before starting their attempt.

Authorities were still trying to determine if the bodies could be recovered, Ibaceta added.

Mountaineers from around the world often attempt the advanced climb during the southern hemisphere's summer months.

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