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7 army men buried alive in avalanche

Last updated on: April 14, 2009 15:56 IST

Seven army personnel were buried alive when an avalanche hit a counter-insurgency post in the Shamabhari mountain range at north Kashmir's Kupwara district on Tuesday.

A defence spokesman said that 15 troopers were manning the post when the avalanche hit it.

"A massive rescue operation was undertaken immediately and eight troopers were safely rescued. Bodies of the seven troopers, who died in the tragedy, were recovered by the rescue teams," defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel J S Brar told rediff.com.

The avalanche might have been triggered by the recent snowfall in the upper reaches of the valley.

Official sources said the avalanche flattened the post manned by personnel of Rashtriya Rifles of the army located nearly five km ahead of Sadna top on Kupwara-Karnah road.

Last month, the army had intercepted a group of infiltrators and a receiving party of Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants in the Shamsbhari range. The ensuing gunfight had resulted in the deaths of eight army troopers and 17 militants.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar