Avalanches killed 10 Indian soldiers in Kashmir after cascading onto an army post and a patrol along the Line of Control (LoC), the military said Thursday.
The separate avalanches buried the soldiers under tonnes of snow on the LoC in the remote Gurez area on Wednesday, an army spokesman told AFP.
A total of seven soldiers in the patrol, that was approaching a border post when it was hit, were killed. The avalanche that slammed into the army post left three soldiers dead, but seven have been rescued.
A search for the other missing soldiers was continuing, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
“With the recovery of bodies of four more soldiers from the patrol the toll in the avalanches is now 10,” he said after three bodies were recovered on Wednesday.
Dozens of Indian and Pakistani soldiers are killed by avalanches almost every winter along the LoC. Indian-held Kashmir has been witnessing one of the most severe winters in recent decades, with heavy snow across the territory and temperatures dropping to minus seven degrees Celsius (19 degrees Fahrenheit).
Four members of a single family died Wednesday in the same area when the house they were sleeping in was hit by an avalanche. A lone survivor was rescued. One soldier also died Wednesday in the north of the territory when a camp was hit by an avalanche.
Meteorologists have forecast more heavy snow across the region over the next two days.
Authorities had already issued avalanche warnings, advising residents in mountainous areas not to venture out. Police last week evacuated 80 villagers from Waltengoo Nar — where dozens were killed after a series of avalanches hit the area in 2005 — in the south of the territory.