Bodies of five soldiers recovered from Muzaffarabad landslide

MUZAFFARABAD: Bodies of nine people including five soldiers were recovered from the landslide in Sharda sector line of Control on Saturday, ISPR sources said.

The recovered bodies includes an officer, four soldiers and four civilians.

Total of 12 bodies have been recovered so far in the tragic incident.

Earlier it was reported that, A landslide killed three Pakistani soldiers in mountainous Kashmir firday, while 18 people sent to rescue them were missing after being buried by a second landslide, officials said.

A military rescue operation swung into action after heavy snows triggered the two landslides at a remote outpost in the Kel area of Pakistan-administered Kashmir near the de facto border with India.

The bodies of the three soldiers had been recovered but rescuers were hunting for the eight soldiers and 10 civilians from the search party, local official Raja Saqib Majeed told AFP.

“We hope that rescue workers will find some of them alive. Lets hope for the best,” he said, but added that efforts were being hampered by continued bad weather.

In April, 140 Pakistani soldiers were buried when a huge wall of snow crashed into the remote Siachen Glacier base high in the mountains in disputed Kashmir. They have all been declared dead, although some of the bodies remain buried.

And in February, at least 16 Indian soldiers on duty in the mountains of Kashmir were killed when two avalanches swept through army camps.

In Friday’s accident, a wall of mud and snow hit the outpost in the early hours, said Majeed, deputy commissioner of Neelam district, of which Kel is part.

The 18-strong team was quickly dispatched to search for the soldiers at the outpost, which is 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Pakistan-administered Kashmir’s main town of Muzaffarabad, he said.

But he added that “another landslide hit this rescue party and they were buried under it”. Civilian rescuers were bolstering the military’s rescue mission, he said.

Local police official Mohammad Musa said there had been heavy snow fall in the past 24 hours in the area and cloud cover remained thick.

The military confirmed the accident in a statement: “Three soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom). Eight soldiers and 10 civilians were missing.”

However, 19 people are still missing and search is still underway.