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Massive anti-terror operation in Kashmir's Shopian after militants loot arms, banks

A large-scale search operation has been launched by the security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir after the recent terror attacks in the Valley.

20 villages have been cordoned in Turkwangam area to nab the militants who attacked a police station in Shopian and took off with five service rifles on Tuesday night.

Suspected terrorists barged into a police post guarding the court complex of southern Shopian decamped along with five service rifles including four INSAS rifles and an AK-47 rifle.

Clashes also erupted in the area after the cordon. Some youths assembled in the villages and started pelting stones on the security forces.

On Wednesday four armed militants stormed the Wahibugh branch of Elaquai Dehati Bank in Pulwama and took off with at least Rs 3 lakh in cash. Just over an hour later, a second armed robbery occurred at Jammu and Kashmir Bank's Nehama Branch.

Bank robberies and weapon snatching incidents have been on the rise in the Valley recently, triggering an alert.

It is clear that amid intense unrest and a police clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir, desperate militants have found a new way to terrorise Kashmir and fund their activities: stealing money from banks and ATMs and looting guns from security personnel.

While cases of weapon-snatching were on the rise, Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat, who was reportedly close to Wani, went on to record a video message urging Kashmiris to snatch weapons and join the terror outfit. "Anyone who wants to join us, he should snatch a weapon and join us. We welcome them all wholeheartedly," Zakir was heard saying in the video in October last year.

Days later, another Hizbul video surfaced, showing 12 militants brandishing stolen police rifles. Of these 12 militants, 9 appeared to be fresh recruits.

A new terror video appeared on social media showing armed terrorists marching at an unknown location. However, some reports say that the video was shot in a Shopian orchard.

The video is said to have been posted by Hizbul Mujahideen. The video has been uploaded on the social media despite a ban in the Valley.