Srinagar: Helicopters and drones circled the air and more than 4,000 troops Thursday fanned out across south Kashmir’s Shopian district in a massive operation to flush out militants holed up inside homes, a news report said.
The operation targeting militants who have been hiding in the area and striking against government forces began in the early hours of the morning with forces, comprising army, police and CRPF, marching into more than a dozen villages in the district, army sources told a news agency, adding that there have been no casualties so far.
The operation in Shopian, about 55 km from Srinagar, was perhaps the biggest in more than a decade in the troubled Kashmir Valley, an army official said on the condition of anonymity, the report added
Door-to-door search of houses, a practice stopped in the late 1990s, was re-introduced during the operation, the report said, adding tha the troops asked all villagers to assemble in a common area so a proper search of their homes could be carried out,
“We do not wish to have any civilian casualty and the measure was therefore required,” a senior army official engaged in the operation was quoted by the report as saying.
The cordon and search operation (CASO) followed intelligence inputs about the presence of militants, in the area, an official told the news agency, adding that no contact had been established with the militants till this report was filed.