Avalanches in Kashmir kill dozens

Dozens of people have been killed after avalanches in both Pakistan and India-controled Kashmir, according to officials.

In the Neelum Valley area, Pakistani officials said villagers had been left stranded by the avalanches after heavy rain which also triggered landslide.

Many were reported missing and feared dead, as rescue efforts got under way in the area, on one of the world's most militarily tense frontiers.

Across the Line of Control, at least ten people were killed after several avalanches in the northern-part of Indian administered Kashmir - including, according to a senior Indian police official, five soldiers.

Meanwhile, in western Pakistan's Balochistan, heavy snowfall destroyed several houses in the mountainous region, killing 17 people.

The disaster management authority declared an emergency in seven districts of the mineral-rich province and sought the army's help for relief and rescue operations.

Key highways connecting Pakistan to neighboring Afghanistan have also been blocked due to heavy snow.

Officials have suspended the transportation of essential goods into Afghanistan - where severe cold and heavy snow have also led to the deaths of 39 people in the past two weeks.