Indian Military Says 23 Soldiers Died In Himalaya Floods20 August 2010
Srinagar: The Indian military said Friday 23 soldiers had died in flash floods that struck a mountainous region in the north of the country a fortnight ago. 'The army has lost 23 soldiers, including three JCOs (junior commissioned officers) in the flash-floods,' Indian military spokesman Biplab Nath said. He said another 12 soldiers were still missing after the floods washed away an army post close to the de facto border with Pakistan in Ladakh, in the Himalayan region of Kashmir. Rescue teams are trying to trace them. The disaster in Ladakh two weeks ago, the worst flash floods in 50 years in the Buddhist-majority region, has claimed over 200 lives, while 400 people are reported missing. Among the 205 confirmed dead are six foreigners and 23 soldiers. The floods washed away large sections of road - including major highways - leaving many locals and tour groups stranded. Thousands of visitors from India and overseas travel to Ladakh each year during July and August for trekking and rafting, and the disaster has devastated the local tourism industry. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday visited flood-ravaged areas and pledged financial support to help rebuild devastated homes and businesses.