The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed five Czechs were killed by an avalanche in the Austrian Alps on Saturday, the ČTK agency reported Sunday. Earlier police reports had only said the victims were believed to be Czechs. Three other Czechs injured by the avalanche have been released from hospital, the agency reported. A total of 17 Czech skiers were caught in a massive avalanche that struck the Wattener Lizum region, south-east of Innsbruck shortly before midday. Three others were airlifted to hospital. According to Czech Television the two groups of Czech skiers caught in the avalanche ignored repeated warnings not to set out. High degree avalanche alerts have been in place in the region for several days now. Some of the survivors said they were in a region where a lower second degree warning applied shortly before the avalanche struck.
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