Representative image
© Reuters
Representative image
The Army has retrieved ten bodies of the soldiers who went missing after being hit by two avalanches at separate locations in Bandipora's Gurez valley, 200 km from Srinagar. Seven soldiers have been rescued so far.

"The avalanches had hit an Army camp and an Army patrol in two separate locations between January 25 and 26 in Gurez," said an Udhampur-based Army spokesman.

He said ten bodies have been recovered so far.

"The Army is working in extreme bad weather and heavy snowfall. The rescue operations were on immediately after the avalanches were reported," said the spokesman, without identifying the exact location.

He said one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and six soldiers were rescued on Thursday morning.

"In another avalanche in the same area on Wednesday, one Army patrol moving towards the post went missing. The area continues to receive heavy snowfall," noted the spokesman.

Braving inhospitable weather conditions, coordinated rescue operations are in progress. "Three bodies could be recovered so far. The search operations are continuing," said the spokesman.

The Army has refused to disclose the number of missing soldiers.

Gurez is a mountainous region with a small valley across the Razdan Pass, the only road connecting with Kashmir Valley at the height of 11,672 feet. The Gurez valley, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), remains cut off due to heavy snowfall since first week of January.

Avalanches are emerging a new challenge for soldiers manning the State inhospitable terrains and unending mountain ranges.