Avalanche kills 4 Indian soldiers in Kashmir

SRINAGAR: An avalanche over the weekend killed four Indian soldiers on foot patrol in the Himalayan region of Kashmir, the army said Monday.

Army spokesman Col. S. D. Goswami said the soldiers were in the remote mountainous Leh region when the avalanche swept them away on Sunday.

Goswami said army rescuers recovered the bodies on Monday after digging through snow drifts.

Leh is about 435 kilometers (270 miles) east of Srinagar, the main city in the Indian portion of Kashmir.

Avalanches and landslides are common in Kashmir, which is divided between India and neighboring Pakistan. Last year, four soldiers were killed in the same region after their vehicle was buried in an avalanche.

In 2012, a massive avalanche on the Pakistan-controlled part of the Siachen glacier killed 140 people, including 129 soldiers.

Indian-controlled Kashmir on Monday received the season's first major snowfall.