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The government forces continued search operation in Bandipora village for fifth successive day on Wednesday.

The operation was launched at Panner village last week following a firefight between militants and government forces in which two army men were reportedly injured.  Since then the intermittent firing between the two sides has been going on, though there was a brief lull in the firing on Tuesday.

Sources privy to the operation said that a group of 18 militants had successfully infiltrated through Gurez route last week who came in contact with the government forces at Paneer.  They added that 15 militants are believed to have escaped the cordon, while three have continuously engaged the forces in firefight.