Today's Paper

17 Army men killed in avalanches

Shujaat Bukhari

JAMMU: Seventeen Army men, including an officer, were killed in avalanches near Gulmarg early on Monday.

Out of the 400 men undergoing training at a high altitude warfare camp in Khilanmarg area, 80 were trapped and most of them rescued, a defence spokesman told The Hindu.

The Army launched a massive rescue operation amid bad weather and informed sources said bodies of the 16 soldiers and the officer were recovered.

The Snow Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE) on Sunday issued avalanche warnings, advising people living in the region not to venture out. The area has been receiving heavy snowfall in the past three days.

“Avalanche warning exists in the high altitude areas for the next 24 hours. People living in the areas are cautioned to avoid movement during snowfall and not to venture out in the avalanche prone areas,” it said.

Areas for which high danger avalanche warnings were issued included Sonamarg, Gagangir, Bhimbat, Drass, Batalic, Dhudi and S.M. Hills in Kargil district.

The SASE said areas where medium danger existed include Khilanmarg, Uri, Baaz, Razdan Top, Z-Gali, Keran, Furkian Top, Machil, Sadna Top, Urez, Niru, Baruab and Chowkibal in Kupwara and Baramulla districts of north Kashmir. Heavy rain and snow lashed the Kashmir Valley in the last few days, ending a month-long dry spell. Roads in Kupwara district and other remote areas of Baramulla were closed and normal life was affected.

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