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U.S. freestyle skier Kyle Smaine believed killed in Japan avalanche

Former world champion reportedly among 2 confirmed dead by local police

Kyle Smaine in 2015.    © AP

NAGANO, Japan (Kyodo) -- Two male skiers who went missing after being caught in an avalanche in central Japan's Nagano prefecture over the weekend have been confirmed dead, police said Monday.

A total of 13 foreign nationals were backcountry skiing in three groups when the avalanche occurred Sunday on a 2,100-meter-high mountain slope, with two going missing. Two men showing no vital signs were found the following morning by a search and rescue team.

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