Landslides Kill 31 in Pakistan-Controlled Kashmir After Heavy Rains

Heavy rains triggered landslides that buried three homes in Pakistan's portion of Kashmir, leaving 31 people dead, officials said Wednesday.

At least 21 people died when a landslide hit two homes Tuesday in Doba Sayedan, a remote village in the mountainous Himalayan territory, said Maj. Farooq Nasir, an army spokesman in the regional capital, Muzaffarabad.

Ten members of one family died when their home collapsed under a landslide in Bagh, a town further south, police officer Mohammed Liaqat said.

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Villagers had pulled 15 injured people from the rubble in Doba Sayedan and were digging for seven others feared trapped under the debris, officials said.

The villages lie in the vast swath of mountains devastated by an earthquake in 2005 that killed more than 80,000 people and displaced more than 3 million others, most of whom are still living in temporary shelters. It was unclear if that included those affected in Tuesday's landslides.

The magnitude-7.6 quake destabilized many of the steep valley-sides, making them more vulnerable to landslips in weather such as the torrential rains that broke over northern Pakistan on Monday and continued on Wednesday.

Liaqat said a police rescue team left Tuesday for Doba Sayedan, but had been held up by other landslides blocking the road.

Army troops were heading to the area on foot and that the military would send a helicopter to evacuate the injured if the weather improved, Nasir said.

Doba Sayedan is located close to the Line of Control, the cease-fire line that divides Kashmir into its Indian- and Pakistan-controlled parts. The South Asian rivals have fought two wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947, though relations have improved under a peace process begun in 2004.

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