Srinagar: A massive eight-hour search operation by security forces in around 20 villages of Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district ended on Thursday afternoon.
The operation, described by a senior police officer as "unprecedented", started early in the day and involved over 3,000 soldiers, paramilitary troopers and police personnel.
They carried out searches in some 20 villages including Turkwangam and Sugan where militants had been reportedly seen moving about freely in recent days.
The security forces searched for militants responsible for the killing of political activists and security personnel and those blamed for snatching of weapons as well as bank robberies, the officer said.
Government sources said helicopters and drones were also used in the operation.
The security forces faced stone pelting from villagers at three places. The crowds were dispersed with tear smoke.
There was no official word on any arrests made during the searches although Thursday's was the biggest search operation by security forces since last year's summer unrest.
A senior police officer earlier told IANS: "The operation is part of a routine anti-militancy and area domination exercise in south Kashmir.
"Such operations will continue till we are able to completely sanitize (rid areas of militants) in south Kashmir."
Police have announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for anyone giving information leading to the arrest of Umar Majeed, a militant operating in south Kashmir.
Majeed allegedly masterminded the killing of seven people, including five policemen and two bank guards, in Kulgam on Monday.