At least 22 people were killed when lightning struck a market in Azad Kashmir on Monday, local media and officials reported.

The deceased included nine members of Tableegi Jamaat, who were staying at a nearby local mosque, and two army troops, local broadcaster Aaj News reported, quoting officials of Azad Kashmir Disaster Management Authority.

The incident took place in Leswa town of Neelam Valley -- a famous tourist destination -- near Line of Control, a de facto border that divides disputed Kashmir valley between Pakistan and India.

The Leswa Market was completely destroyed by lightning, officials said.

Several vehicles of tourists were also missing due to torrential rains that caused flash floods in the region, they added.

Pakistan's army troops have joined local administration in the rescue operation.