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Death toll rises to 28 as heavy rains continue to lash India's Kashmir, cutting phone links

The death toll from severe flooding in Indian-controlled Kashmir has risen to at least 28 people, as authorities asked for help from federal rescue officials as relentless rains continue to lash much of the Himalayan region, forcing thousands to abandon their homes in search of shelter.

Officials said Friday that the death toll from flooding and landslides caused by for four days of rain included two bodies recovered after a bus carrying more than 50 members of a wedding party that was swept away into a stream Thursday. Four passengers managed to swam to safety and rescue workers are searching for the others.

The region is witnessing its worst flooding in over two decades.