Death Toll in Kashmir Avalanches Rises to 15

Srinagar, Kashmir, The death toll in separate avalanches in India-administered Kashmir has risen to 15, with 11 soldiers among the victims, officials said Thursday.

The bodies of 11 soldiers have been recovered from two sites in the high-altitude Gurez frontier. Avalanches hit an army camp in the region and an army patrol on Wednesday, army officials and local police said.

Four soldiers were still missing and the rescue operations were continuing despite heavy snowfall.

In a third incident in Bandipora district on Wednesday, four civilians were killed when their family home came under the avalanche, local officials said.

Avalanches are common in the Himalayan region of Kashmir. In 2012, an avalanche in the Pakistan-controlled part of the region’s Siachen Glacier killed 140 people including 129 soldiers.

Heavy snowfall in the region since Tuesday is believed to have triggered the avalanches. The state administration has issued warnings of more avalanches in the region and locals have been told to take precautions.

Source: Qatar News Agency