"We have activated all resources to rescue the buried soldiers." Sood said.

Rescue teams

Farooq Ahmed, a top police officer, said "casualties could rise", and joint rescue teams of police, army and tourism officials had reached the spot where the avalanche struck.

Frequent rain and heavy snowfall often trigger avalanches and landslides in the region, blocking roads and cutting off tourist resorts like Gulmarg.

Gulmarg is also close to the Line of Control, a highly militarised cease-fire line dividing the Himalayan region between India and Pakistan.

The claim over Kashmir has caused two wars between the arch rivals since they became independent from Britain in 1947. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers are posted along either side of the Line of Control.

Last year in April, an avalanche hit an Indian army post in a separate region close to the de-facto border with Pakistan, killing seven soldiers and injuring at least eight others.