Avalanches kill 12 army personnel in Kashmir

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 23, 2012 12:30 hrs

Srinagar, Feb 23 (IANS) The death toll in twin avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir went up to 12 by Thursday afternoon, with all the casualties being army personnel, the army said. Seven soldiers are still missing.

At least nine army personnel were killed in Dawar in Bandipora district. Another three were killed in the avalanche in Sonamarg area of Ganderbal district, army officials said. Both the areas are in north Kashmir.

'We have recovered nine bodies in Dawar while seven soldiers are still feared to be under the debris,' according to Lieutenant Colonel J.S. Brar, spokesman of the army's Srinagar-based 15th Corps.

'Earlier today, 13 soldiers were rescued from the avalanche debris in Dawar village of Gurez sub-division where an overnight avalanche struck the brigade headquarters. Dawar is in Gurez subdivision, 109 km from here.

'Three soldiers of the territorial army, including a junior commissioned officer, were killed in another overnight avalanche in Sonamarg area of Ganderbal,' Brar said. Ganderbal is located 87 km from here.

Over a dozen hutments were also swept away in another avalanche in Ramwari area of Ganderbal district during the intervening night of Feb 22 and Feb 23. No loss of life occurred in this incident since these hutments are used by the nomadic Bakerwals during summer.

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