A file photo of the site of an avalanche in the Gurez sector of Jammu and Kashmir, January 25, 2017
Three soldiers have died after avalanches struck a high-altitude army post in Indian-administered Kashmir, an officer said Friday, after heavy snowfall in the disputed Himalayan region.
Multiple avalanches hit a post in Batalik near the Line of Control — the de facto border that divides Kashmir — on Thursday, burying five soldiers, an army spokesman said.
“We launched rescue operations and two were rescued alive. But this morning three bodies were retrieved from under the snow,” Rajesh Kalia told AFP.
Dozens of Indian and Pakistani soldiers are killed by avalanches almost every winter along the LoC.
This winter has been particularly harsh, and in January, avalanches killed dozens of people, including Indian soldiers and civilians.
Lower-altitude areas have suffered heavy rains, prompting authorities to shut schools until Sunday and close the region’s main highway over landslide fears.
In the main city of Srinagar, which suffered devastating floods in 2014, shopkeepers were moving their stocks on Thursday as a precaution.
Officials said water levels began to recede on Friday after a halt in the rain.
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