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Toll in Kashmir Avalanches Reaches 19


Indian paramilitary soldiers take shelter from snow as they stand guard in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Jan. 25, 2017. Four members of a family and an Indian soldier were killed Wednesday when they were buried by two separate avalanches in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said.

The death toll in avalanches in the heavily militarized Himalayan region of Kashmir has risen to 19 after the bodies of four more Indian soldiers were recovered Friday, army and police officials said.

Kashmir has seen heavy snow this week and authorities have warned of the high danger of avalanches over the next two days. Power and communication lines have also been cut in some areas.

The army recovered the bodies of the four soldiers who had been patrolling near the Line of Control that divides the territory when the snowslide struck Wednesday, bringing the military toll to 15, said spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia.

Four civilians who were also killed included two children from a family whose house was hit by a separate avalanche Wednesday.

More avalanches hit the region Thursday, although there were no reports of further casualties.

In 2012, a massive avalanche in the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 soldiers.

Kashmir, divided between the India and Pakistan, has long been a source of tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

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