SRINAGAR, India - A top police official says at least 50 people have been killed after a sudden downpour and flashfloods hit a major town in Indian Kashmir's remote and mountainous Ladakh region.

Kuldeep Khoda, the state police chief, says a massive rescue operation including police, paramilitary and the army is under way in Leh town, the main town of the region.

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In Srinagar, army spokesman Lt. Col. J.S. Brar, says the flooding injured scores of people and has damaged telephone towers and the region's airport.

The area is a high-altitude desert about 11,500 feet (3,500 meters) above sea level, and normally experiences very low precipitation. (AP)