At least 10 yatris were killed, five others injured and many missing after a cloudburst near the Amarnath cave shrine on Friday evening caused flash floods, officials said. 

The cloudburst occurred at around 5.30 p.m. near the shrine. At least three langars (community kitchens) and 25 Yatri tents were washed away in flash floods caused by the cloudburst.

Rescue teams were immediately rushed to the spot, some using helicopter services. The rescue operation is still going on and the authorities are trying to ascertain the exact casualties or damage caused by the calamity.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters that rescue operations by various agencies is underway, the situation is under control and the injured are being airlifted for treatment.

Officials said that following the cloudburst, water surged above/the sides of the cave after heavy rains at the upper reaches.

Earlier on Friday, the strategic Jammu-Srinagar national highway was blocked by landslides and mud slush triggered by rain at many places, affecting passage of pilgrims to the two base camps in the Kashmir Valley. 

The yatra was flagged off on June 30 after remaining suspended for two years due to the Covid pandemic, and so far, over one lakh devotees have completed the pilgrimage.

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