Around two dozen houses were gutted and over 500 livestock perished when a fire broke out in a village near the Line of Control (LoC) in Bandipora district on Wednesday, official sources said.

The blaze started in a house in Baraub village of Gurez sector, 150 km from here, in the wee hours and spread to adjoining houses, said an Army spokesman.

He said nearly two dozen houses were damaged in the blaze which was brought under control following strenuous efforts by the Army. Over 500 livestock, including goats, sheep, horses and buffaloes, were charred in the fire but no civilian casualty was reported. Gurez is currently cut off from the rest of the Valley because of heavy snowfall.“The Army unit rushed as almost all three rows of 90 houses in the village were ablaze. All efforts initially were concentrated on evacuating the trapped villagers,” the spokesman added. He said while the villagers were busy retrieving their belongings from the burning homes, the Army continued its relief operations all night till the fire was completely doused by 5 a.m. on Wednesday. - PTI