Srinagar: An encounter broke out between militants and security forces  on Thursday in Handwara area of north Kashmir's Kupwara district, officials said.

Troops of 21 Rashtriya Rifles assisted by police launched an anti-insurgency operation in the forest area near Zachaldara village in Handwara, 100km from here, they said.

As the security forces were closing on the location of militants, the ultras opened firing, they said.

The security forces retaliated, triggering a fierce encounter which was going on till reports last came in, the officials said.

No casualties have been reported on either side so far, Defence Spokesman Lt Colonel J S Brar said.

Five Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in the same area on March 28.