J&K search operation for militants sparks clash

SRINAGAR: Clashes erupted between locals and security personnel in south Kashmir‘s Shopian district on Wednesday morning during a cordon-andsearch operation to flush out militants believed to be hiding in two villages. The operation at Heff and Shirmal villages was called off within a few hours to avoid civilian injuries or casualties, police said.

 About 1,000 security personnel cordoned off the two villages on a tip-off that militants might be hiding there. They were, however, soon surrounded by people shouting pro-azadi slogans and pelting them with stones. The villagers alleged that civilians were beaten up and houses ransacked during the operation. Police denied the charge, and said “maximum restraint was shown in dealing with miscreants” who tried to disrupt the operation.
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