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The Indian Air Force (IAF) airlifted over 700 stranded passengers between the twin union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh on Saturday, an official said. While 514 passengers were airlifted from Jammu to Leh in two sorties of IL-76, 223 persons were flown from Srinagar to Leh in another sortie, the official said.

With this, a total of 1,251 persons were airlifted between Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh this week. Earlier on Monday, 331 passengers were airlifted in separate sorties of AN-32, also known as Kargil courier, by the IAF between Jammu and Kashmir to Kargil.

The Kargil courier was launched by the IAF on January 22 following closure of 434-km Srinagar-Leh national highway owing to heavy snowfall.

The Kargil courier service operates three days a week between Jammu and Srinagar, and twice a week between Srinagar and Kargil to facilitate the stranded passengers.

The passengers have expressed their gratitude to all authorities, particularly the IAF, for facilitating their movement.