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6 soldiers killed in 2 avalanches in Gurez sector of Kashmir: Army

Kashmiri Muslim villagers carry drinking water pots along a snow-covered road on the outskirts of Srinagar on January 13, 2017. A cold wave further tightened its grip in Jammu and Kashmir with most places in the state recording sub-zero temperatures. The icy temperatures have frozen many bodies of water in Kashmir as well as drinking water taps. / AFP PHOTO / Tauseef MUSTAFA

Srinagar: Six soldiers were killed while several others are missing after two avalanches in Gurez Sector of Kashmir, an army official said on Thursday.

An avalanche hit an army camp in Gurez sector of Bandipora district near the Line of Control last evening in which several soldiers were trapped, the army official said.

He said rescue operations were launched and seven soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer were saved. “Bodies of three soldiers were retrieved his morning,” he said.

The official said another avalanche hit a patrol party which was on its way to a post in Gurez sector last evening.

“Rescue teams were able to retrieve three bodies from the spot of the incident while some soldiers are still missing,” the official said.

He said the exact number of missing soldiers was not yet known as heavy snowfall was hampering ongoing operations.

Yesterday, an officer was killed in an avalanche at Sonamarg in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district while four members of a family died in another avalanche in Gurez sector.

Authorities have issued a high danger avalanche warning in hilly parts of snow-bound Kashmir valley in view of fresh snowfall which has been going on intermittently for past three days.