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Seven soldiers die in avalanche, 8 rescued
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 14
Seven soldiers were buried alive under a snow avalanche that hit an Army post in the Shamshbari range of forests in Kupwara district during the intervening night of April 13 and 14.

Army spokesperson Lt Col JS Brar said eight other soldiers were rescued or escaped the avalanche. The bodies of all seven soldiers were recovered by late afternoon today and handed over to the authorities.

Official sources said the post called Baraf Post was manned by the counter-insurgency troops of 20 Rashtriya Rifles, who had been on extra vigil for the last few weeks due to heightened concern over infiltrations by militants. The post falls under Karnah sector that is close to the LoC and is one of the most sensitive areas as far as militantsí movement is concerned.

The sources have identified the dead soldiers as havildar Bhushan Ram, lance naik Kishan Singh, constables B Kapar, Bahadur Singh, Dinesh Kumar, Surinder Singh and Krishan Kumar.

The Army and civil administrations started a massive operation in the morning to recover the bodies and faced impediments due to a difficult terrain. However, they managed in recovering all bodies later.

The area had seen fresh snowfall a few days back and officials attributed the avalanche to the relative increase in temperature, which melts snow and causes avalanche.

The regions near the LoC in Kupwara district are infamous for deadly snow avalanches and every year several persons are buried alive, as heaps of snow fall from high altitudes. Army soldiers are often at the receiving end.

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