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Englishman Still Missing After Hike in North Caucasus

A weeklong search operation for a British national who went missing in the North Caucasus mountains has so far yielded no results, a local news site reported.

John Stiles, head of the Danish Refugee Council's North Caucasus branch, went missing on Nov. 10, the council said at the time.

Stiles, 52, a skilled climber, went on a one-day hike in a mountainous area near the Fiagdon River, in the republic of North Ossetia, the council said.

Emergency services launched a search operation, but refused to comment on its progress, Caucasus news site Kavkaz-uzel.ru reported Friday.

"It seems likely that John has had a climbing accident," a representative of the Danish NGO was cited as saying last week.

The North Caucasus is a hotbed of unrest fueled to a large extent by the resilient Islamist insurgency.

But the predominantly Christian republic of North Ossetia remains largely unaffected by the ongoing struggle between Islamists and law enforcement officers in nearby regions.

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