Five Indian Army soldiers have gone missing following an avalanche that hit two different sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of North Kashmir since Monday.Heavy snowfall has swept away Army’s high altitudes posts along the LoC. Special rescue teams of the Army are conducting search and rescue operations to locate the five missing soldiers.The first incident occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez when an avalanche hit ‘Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area. Three army jawans, who were manning the post, were swept away.The second incident occurred in Naugam sector along the LoC when two soldiers fell down a slope. “Two soldiers slipped down the slope in Naugam Sector in Kupwara. Three soldiers went missing from a forward post in Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in Bandipora district during heavy snowfall in the last 24 hours. Search and rescue operations are underway,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Apart from special team of the Indian army, specially-trained sniffer dogs and state-of-the art equipment have been pressed into service to locate the soldiers.Bandipora Deputy Commissioner Sajjad Hussain on Tuesday evening issued a weather advisory asking locals in Gurez and Tulail areas not to venture in avalanche prone areas till weather conditions become favourable.Hussain also directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Gurez to take all precautionary measures in coordination with the concerned departments for the safety of the general public.According to the Met department, there has been moderate to heavy snowfall in many areas of the Valley with Gulmarg receiving the highest so far.Meanwhile, Kashmir has been covered by a blanket of snow bringing smiles on the faces of people who were otherwise battling with dry cold and disease.Famed ski resort Gulmarg has received two feet of snow. Srinagar has received 3.5 cm of snow while Qazigund, the gateway to Kashmir has got 13 centimentr of snow so far. Famous health resort of Pahalgam has received 25 centimeter while Kokarnag has received 12 centimeter of snow so far.Cheers notwithstanding, snow has also caused disruption of essential services in many parts of the valley.. The 300 kilometer Srinagar-Jammu highway, the lifeline for the landlocked valley, has been closed for traffic due to the snow at Jawahar Tunnel and en route.”National Highway and Mughal Road closed. All district roads operational”, tweeted deputy inspector general of police, south Kashmir range.VALLEY OF WOESMet department said there has been moderate to heavy snowfall in many areas of the Valley with Gulmarg receiving the highest so far. Police said on Tuesday they rescued 70 people in Surankote who were trapped due to heavy snowfall.
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