Deadly Kashmir Avalanche Traps 53 Soldiers
A massive avalanche, which killed at least 17 soldiers and trapped 53 more under the snow and ice Monday, plowed into an Indian army training center near a popular ski resort designed to exhibit peaceful progress in the long-disputed state of Kashmir.
The Associated Press reports the avalanche hit the army’s High Altitude Warfare School around 11 a.m., sweeping away the soldiers during a training session. An army spokeman told the AP it was “the worst avalanche in the area in many years.”
The avalanche narrowly missed a ski resort at Gularg, situated a few miles away, where locals plus an estimated 400 foreign tourists were skiing. According to theChristian Science Monitor, The Indian government developed Gularg as a ski destination to exhibit peaceful progress in Kashmir.
Gulmarg is a bit of a dangerous place to ski even without avalanches. The city is perched near the Line of Control, which the AP describes as “a highly militarized cease-fire line dividing the Himalayan region of Kashmir between India and Pakistan.”
When it comes to Kashmir, there is no love lost between India and Pakistan. Claims over the state have incited two wars between the feuding neighbors since they gained independence from Britain in 1947. Now, according to the AP, hundreds of thousands of soldiers are posted along either side of the Line of Control.