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A British climber has told how he thought he was going to die when an argument broke out on the world's highest mountain.
Photographer Jonathan Griffith said he and two friends were attacked by up to 150 of the Nepalese guides as they made their way to a camp on Everest.
He told The Sun that he and experienced climbers Simone Moro, 45, from Italy, and Swiss national Ueli Steck, 36, were left bruised and cut after the gang kicked, punched and threw rocks at them.
The three were only saved when a group of Western climbers intervened, he added.
He said: "They didn't want to talk, they wanted to finish us off.
"They picked up big rocks off the glaciers and started throwing them at us."
Mr Griffith, who is from London but now lives in Chamonix, France, claimed the argument started when an angry Sherpa leader confronted the trio and accused them of injuring one of his men, who was securing ropes on the mountain for another expedition.
Nepal officials have vowed to ensure the safety of climbers seeking to scale Mount Everest after three European climbers were involved in a fight with Sherpa guides.
Tourism Ministry official Dipendra Paudel said the government would ensure the safety and security of the climbers.
"There was a slight misunderstanding and communication gap between them," Paudel said. "This has been sorted out and the climbers are at the base camp".
Three climbers claim they were punched and kicked by Sherpa guides following a disagreement as they scaled Mount Everest.
Jonathan Griffith, Ueli Steck and Simone Moro allege the high altitude guides became aggressive after they were forced to step over the guides' fixing ropes.
The Sherpas claimed the climbers had kicked ice down onto them, injuring a guide, and a tussle broke out before the group made their way back to Camp 2.
The climbers claim around 100 Sherpa guides then grouped together and became "instantly aggressive", punching, kicking and throwing stones at them before they were saved by a group of "brave and selfless" Westerners on the mountain.
They said in a statement they "don't believe that their actions were the reasons behind such a mass attack".
"They believe that the reaction was from a far more deep rooted and long-term problem, which is the way that Nepalis feel treated by Westerners on the mountain and this was a uprising against that", the statement said.
"There is no reason to instigate vigilante rule and to try and kill three visiting climbers", it added.
The climbers also said they are "completely independent" and "not part of any commercial expedition".
Reports of a fight between Sherpa guides and three climbers on Mount Everest are being investigated.
Anish Gupta of Cho-Oyu Trekking, the Kathmandu-based company that organised the expedition said: "We were told our clients and the guides fought on their way to camp three. We don't have all the details yet, but our clients have come down off the peak."
He added that one of the clients, a Swiss national, had descended the mountain and was currently waiting for a flight back to Kathmandu.
Nepalese mountaineering officials say they are investigating reports of a fight between three foreign climbers and local Sherpa guides on Mount Everest, the Associated Press reports.
Dipendra Poudel of the Mountaineering Department said the three climbers - from Italy, Switzerland and Britain - were involved in arguments with the guides on Sunday.
Poudel said that both sides are accusing each other of starting the fight, adding mountaineering officials based at the Everest base camp were investigating the incident.
Sherpa guides hired by the hundreds of Western climbers attempting to climb Everest are the first ones to fix the ropes on the routes so their clients can climb to the peak.
The Sherpas are accusing the foreign climbers of starting the fight.