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Kashmir avalanche: Four more bodies recovered, death toll reaches 14

The bodies of four army personnel who went missing after avalanches struck an army camp and patrol in Gurez area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district have been recovered. It took the total death toll to 14 with army spokesman Rajesh Kalia saying that the search operation had been stopped.

“We recovered four more bodies which were part of the army patrol. Every soldier has been accounted for,” he said.

Lately, many avalanches hit the army camp and residential areas in Bandipora on Wednesday following a record snowfall in the valley state. The avalanches hit the army camp of 51 Rashtriya Rifles taking the lives of 3 soldiers.  A JCO (junior commissioned officer) and six soldiers were rescued.

Another avalanche struck an army patrol in the same area from which 7 bodies were recovered on Thursday. Besides, four members of a family were killed in the district after their house collapsed because of heavy snowfall.

As per the police, their house had come under an avalanche. In another avalanche in Ganderbal district, an army major died on Wednesday. With heavy snow across the region and temperature falling to minus 7 degrees celsius, the valley state is witnessing one of the severest winters this season. However, circumstances are likely to improve from January 27.

Last year on February 3, ten soldiers were killed following an avalanche hit Siachen Glacier. The latest adversity zone is close to the Line of Control (LoC). As per the police, heavy snow damaged huge properties including 13 houses, three shops and a shrine in Budgam and Ganderbal districts.

Around 150 people were evacuated on Wednesday.

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