An overnight anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir’s Shopian district was called off on Saturday as the militants managed to escape from the security forces’ cordon.

There were no casualties reported in the encounter.

The police control room (PCR) said they had received information about the presence of militants in Shillipora Heff village of Shopian on Friday evening.

“When a joint party of the army, CRPF and police started surrounding the village, they were fired upon by the militants triggering a standoff,” an official manning the PCR said. He said there was no further contact between the militants and security forces. “The cordon continued for the night.”

Local reports said the security forces used drone cameras to locate the militants suspected to be hiding in the village.

The police official said that the cordon was lifted in the morning without any damage to either side. “It was not clear whether militants escaped in the initial stage or during the night,” he said.

In the morning, local youth assembled near the site and started pelting stones on the security forces, leading to clashes.

A trend has emerged lately in the valley, where local youth flock to encounter sites during gun fights to help militants flee.

On February 15, army chief General Bipin Rawat had warned of harsh measures if anyone hampered counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir Valley.

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