14 killed in Indian Kashmir avalanches, hundreds flee villages

Avalanches killed at least 14 people - 12 from just two families - and forced hundreds more to leave their snowbound villages in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, officials said. Six members of one family were killed Friday when cascading snow buried their village home in India's Jammu-Kashmir state, said Farooq Khan, a police deputy inspector general. Police rescued a 2-year-old girl, also a member of the family, from the debris, Khan said. Six members of another family of seven were killed when an avalanche destroyed their house in the village of Peth Halan, local police official Hemant Lohia said. Elsewhere, snow buried and killed a man in a mountain village in another part of Kashmir, said S.P. Pani, the area's superintendent of police. Pani said the village received about 3.3 meters (11 feet) of snow this week, and the army and police evacuated hundreds of people from the area to shelters in safer places.