Saturday 22 July 2017

Kashmir avalanche rescue soldiers die in Indian hospital

Indian Army soldiers clear snow from their stranded vehicles near a base camp in Gulmarg, about 34 miles north-west of Srinagar (AP)
Indian Army soldiers clear snow from their stranded vehicles near a base camp in Gulmarg, about 34 miles north-west of Srinagar (AP)

Five soldiers rescued last week from snow that caved in on them as they patrolled the highly-militarised line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan have died.

Indian army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the soldiers died on Monday after they were flown from the frontier area of Machil to the region's main city of Srinagar for specialised treatment.

Last week, 15 Indian soldiers and five civilians, including four members of a family, were killed when avalanches hit military posts and homes in Kashmir.

Avalanches and landslides have caused some of the heaviest casualty tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the Kashmir line of control.

AP

Mr Kalia said army helicopters earlier failed multiple times to bring the soldiers to the army's base hospital in Srinagar because of hostile weather after their rescue Saturday.

Heavy snowfall has cut off roads and disrupted power and communications in Kashmir, and authorities have issued avalanche warnings in many areas, especially along the de facto frontier.

Hundreds of residents have been evacuated from high-risk areas.

Avalanches and landslides have caused some of the heaviest casualty tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camped near the line of control.

In 2012, a massive avalanche in the Pakistan-controlled part killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.

AP

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