Kashmir: Ten soldiers killed after avalanche hits army post in Gurez sector

Srinagar: The death toll has risen to 10 in the incident when avalanches hit an army post and a patrol along the de facto border that divides the disputed territory with Pakistan, the army said Thursday. Many others are reportedly missing.

The army had earlier confirmed the death of six soldiers, however, the death toll climbed up as rescuers recovered bodies of four more soldiers burried under the snow, according to CNN-News 18. 

The avalanches buried an army camp and a separate patrol approaching a post on the border known as the Line of Control (LoC) under tons of snow in the remote Gurez area on Wednesday, an army spokesman told AFP.

"An officer and six other soldiers were rescued despite hostile weather. Bodies of three soldiers from the camp could be retrieved only today (Thursday) morning," said Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Another avalanche, also on Wednesday, buried an army patrol that was approaching a post on the unofficial border with Pakistan in the same area.

"Coordinated rescue operations are in progress in which three bodies could be recovered so far," the spokesman said.

Details of the other missing soldiers, whose number was not clear, were being ascertained, he said.

Dozens of Indian and Pakistani soldiers are killed by avalanches almost every winter by avalanches along the LoC.

Kashmir has been witnessing one of the most severe winters in recent decades, with heavy snow across the territory and temperatures dropping to minus seven degrees Celsius (19 degrees Fahrenheit).

Four members of a single family died on Wednesday in the same area when the house they were sleeping in was hit by an avalanche. A lone survivor was rescued.

One soldier also died Wednesday as in the north of the territory when a camp was hit by an avalanche.

Meteorologists have forecast more heavy snow across the territory over the next two more days.

Authorities had already issued avalanche warnings, advising residents in mountainous areas not to venture out.

Police last week evacuated 80 villagers from Waltengoo Nar — where dozens were killed after a series of avalanches hit the area in 2005 -- in the south of the territory.

Published Date: Jan 26, 2017 15:51 PM | Updated Date: Jan 26, 2017 16:54 PM

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