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J&K: Avalanche kills 7 troopers, 8 civilians

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
January 09, 2008 22:46 IST
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At least 15 persons, including seven army troopers and eight civilian porters working for the army, have been feared killed in a north Kashmir avalanche in the Uri sector of the Line of Control on Wednesday.

A senior police officer in Srinagar said a fierce avalanche rolled down the mountain side, and engulfed a picket of 9 Maratha near Bejihama village in the Uri sector of the Baramulla district on Wednesday morning.

"One JCO, six other ranks and eight civilian porters were inside the ill-fated picket when the tragedy struck," a senior police officer told

"So far bodies of two persons have been recovered from the avalanche site, but the rescue operation that was launched immediately after the incident had to be suspended owing to heavy snowfall and darkness in the area," the officer said.

Weather permitting rescue teams are likely to resume the operation with the first light on Thursday morning.

Bodies of two troopers were dug out this morning from under the avalanche in the Machil sector of the LoC in Kupwara district.

Kashmir valley has been experiencing heavy snowfall in its northern areas for the past three days which has thrown life out of gear.

State authorities have set up disaster management control rooms at district headquarters.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar