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Three mountain climbers die on snowy summit in Peru's Andes

LIMA (Reuters) - Two Chileans and a man with dual U.S.-Russian citizenship died in Peru while trying to climb a snow-capped mountain in the Andes, a spokesman for a mountain climbing group said Tuesday.

The three men likely triggered an avalanche as they climbed Piramide de Garcilaso, a 5,885 meter-high (19,308 feet) peak in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range of Peru's central Andes, Rafael Figueroa with the Mountain Guides Association of Peru (AGMP) said on local broadcaster RPP.

An AGMP search team found the bodies around midday on Tuesday after friends and family members of the Chileans said they had not returned from their planned trip to Piramide de Garcilaso, said Figueroa.

"These three people appear to have tried to climb the face of the snow-capped mountain of Piramide de Garcilaso without a trained guide for this type of expedition," said Figueroa. "We recommend all tourists...go with trained personnel."

The Chileans were identified as Cristóbal Bizzarri and Gabriel Navarrete and the third man is Alexander Maznev, Figueroa said.

Antonio Zavala, a police chief in the town of Huaraz, confirmed the nationalities of the men and said authorities were on their way to retrieve their bodies, which would require a night of camping in the Cordillera Blanca during the southern hemisphere's winter.

The Cordillera Blanca, home to scores of glaciers, towering peaks and turquoise lakes, is a popular destination for mountain climbers and trekkers.

The Chilean and Russian embassies in Lima and the U.S. State Department said they could not provide immediate comment.

(Reporting by Mitra Taj and Marco Aquino; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)