Chinese rescuers searching the upper reaches of the Yurungkax river by helicopter on Wednesday found red canoes, clothing and iron bars used to fix canoes at two separate sites along the river, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
A new search for the six missing tourists from Russia was being planned Wednesday based on the discovery, it said, without giving details.
A Chinese guide who dropped the men off at the river before their trip confirmed the possessions belonged to the missing group, it said. It didn't say how many canoes were found.
The group planned to paddle down the Yurungkax in China's Xinjiang region using three canoes for 12 days but failed to meet up with their local Russian interpreter, Zhang Hong, as scheduled on Sept. 2, earlier reports said.
A Russian cargo-transport plane with a 40-Russian search and rescue crew arrived in Xinjiang on Tuesday to join the search, it said.
Xinhua identified the missing as Vladimir Smetannikov, Sergey Chernik, Andrey Pautov, Dmitry Tishchenko, Ivan Chernik and Alexander Zverev, with the youngest aged 25 and the oldest 47.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.