21 more bodies recovered in avalanche-hit Kashmir

21 more bodies recovered in avalanche-hit Kashmir

21 more bodies recovered in avalanche-hit Kashmir

The death toll from Monday's avalanches in Pakistan's Neelum Valley rose to 76, according to Pakistani officials, as rescuers continued to recover bodies.

But on Wednesday, China's United Nations ambassador warned against further escalation of strife between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region and expressed hope that a Security Council meeting called by Beijing might help both countries seek a solution through dialogue.

At least 61 people were killed and over 53 injured after an avalanche struck a village in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, official media said on Tuesday.

Several of the injured victims were airlifted by army helicopters to the region's capital, Muzaffarabad, for treatment, and more helicopters will airdrop food and essential supplies to residents cut off by snow.

Authorities confirmed 55 people had been killed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, while a further 15 died in neighboring Afghanistan.

Heavy snowfall has closed many key roads since the New Year, including the Salang Tunnel connecting central Afghanistan with the north of the country, and the Kabul-Kandahar highway.

Prime Minister Imran Khan flew to Kashmir on Wednesday to visit the avalanche-hit areas. But Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and Neelum Valley in particular, were the worst hit.

Heavy snowfall, rain and flash floods have killed at least 30 people in Pakistan, with authorities struggling to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places as an unusual extreme weather system has entered the country.

Harsh winters often take a heavy toll in mountainous Afghanistan, and the country remains poor despite billions of dollars in aid from the worldwide community.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Balochistan said a total of 31 people perished, including 12 women, seven children and a man in various districts of the province, where 23 people were stated to be injured in the districts of Quetta, Pishin, Zhob, Kech, Killa Abdullah and Mastung.

Over 100 houses, shops and a mosque were damaged by the avalanche, the statement added.

It also coincides with Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi's visit to NY, one of the two people cited above said.

Meanwhile, in a separate area in Pakistan, further north, five members of the Pakistan army were killed when an avalanche hit them as they were carrying out rescue efforts, according to a senior official.

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