7 soldiers among 13 killed after snowfall, rain trigger avalanches in Kashmir

10 missing after avalanche hits Jammu-Srinagar highway
Bulldozers clear Jammu-Srinagar Highway which was closed for vehicular traffic after fresh snowfall and landslides in Ramban district of Jammu and Kashmir. File photo
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Jammu: A soldier was killed and three others were injured when an avalanche hit an army post in Drass belt of Ladakh's Kargil district on Thursday

The avalanche hit the army post in Mushkoh valley in which four soldiers were buried, they said.

One soldier died while three injured were rescued, they added.

Death toll climbs

Earlier, six soldiers and as many civilians were killed in four avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir since Monday night, police and defence sources said.

An avalanche hit an Army post in Machil sector along the Line of Control on Tuesday, trapping five soldiers. A rescue operation was launched but none of the soldiers could be saved, they said.

Another avalanche struck a village in Gagangir area of Ganderbal district on Monday night in which five civilians were killed while four others were rescued, police said.

Another civilian died in Gurez of Bandipora district.

In the fourth incident, a 29-year-old BSF jawan was killed and six others were rescued after an avalanche hit their post along the LoC in Kashmir's Naugam sector at 8:30 pm on Monday. 

Officials identified the deceased as constable Ganga Bara of the 77th battalion of the force.

"There were a total of seven troops deployed in the affected area. While six were safely rescued, constable Bara could not be revived even after much effort," a senior officer of the border guarding force said.

The jawan hails from the Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal and had joined the BSF in 2011.

The Border Security Force (BSF) is deployed along the LoC under the operational command of the Army as part of guarding the front against Pakistan.

Army pays tributes to the fallen

The Army on Thursday paid tributes to the soldiers who were killed in an avalanche in Jammu and Kashmir.

In a show of solidarity, representatives from other security agencies also joined in to pay their last respects.

The official said that the mortal remains of the soldiers were taken to their native places where the last rites will be performed with full military honours.

12-year-old girl found alive after remaining buried for 18 hours

A 12-year-old girl has miraculously survived after remaining buried for 18-hours after a massive avalanche hit her house in Kashmir's Neelum Valley, officials said.

Samina Bibi lived with her family in a three-storey house in Neelum Valley when the building was hit by an avalanche and got engulfed by snow on Tuesday.

She was found alive during the rescue operation by the disaster management authorities on Wednesday and had suffered a leg fracture, with blood oozing from her mouth, Geo News reported.

She was later shifted to a hospital in Muzaffarabad where she is undergoing treatment and is said to be out of danger.

"It was not less than a miracle that Samina was alive after the natural calamity," Shahnaz, the mother of  Shamina, said.

However, Shahnaz lost a son and another daughter in the tragedy.

Across the border

The death toll in the massive avalanches and snow-related incidents in Pakistan rose to 111. The Army was deployed to step up rescue efforts and to provide humanitarian aid to those hit by the harsh weather conditions in the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who expressed concern on Tuesday over the incident, visited the Combined Military Hospital in Muzaffarabad on Wednesday and met those injured in the avalanche, the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) reported.

(With inputs from PTI)

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