Avalanche in Kashmir Himalayas kills 3, leaves 7 missing

SRINAGAR, India — An avalanche at a Himalayan mountain pass in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Friday killed three people and left another seven missing, officials said.

The avalanche hit the Khardung La pass in the remote Ladakh region and trapped 10 people under snow, said top civil administrator Baseer Khan.

Three bodies have been recovered while rescue teams of police and army soldiers are searching for the missing, said police officer Tashi Wangial. He said the victims were laborers working in the area when the avalanche hit.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety.

Last year, 11 people were killed after their vehicle was hit by an avalanche in the northwestern Kupwara area.

Avalanches have particularly caused some of the heaviest tolls for the Indian and Pakistani armies camping in the region.

In 2017, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in three avalanches, and in 2012, a massive avalanche in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir killed 140 people, including 129 Pakistani soldiers.

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