Chinese searchers find clues to missing Russian group

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BEIJING, Sept 13 (Reuters) Chinese rescuers have found clothes and canoes left by six missing Russian tourists, but have yet to locate the group of outdoor adventurers missing in China's vast far west, state media reported today.

Searchers found the items on the Yurungkax River, which flows through the city of Hotan in the western region of Xinjiang, Xinhua news agency said.

The group had been exploring the wild river since mid-August and failed to turn up at Hotan early this month as planned, prompting the search.

''A local villager who had served as the guide of missing Russians identified these articles as theirs,'' Xinhua said.

China, with its vast deserts, mountains and forests, is attracting more and more adventure tourists looking for unusual holiday destinations that have yet to be over-commercialised.

Hundreds of local police and residents, as well as 40 Russian searchers, are continuing the hunt, the report said.

REUTERS JT VC0850

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