SRINAGAR: Two Army men were injured in a brief encounter in north Kashmir's Hajin village today morning with suspected militants managing to escape from the area.

An Army official said a joint team of security forces laid a siege around a locality in Bandipora's Hajin village following specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

"As the forces closed in around the area where the militants were hiding, they opened fire, resulting in injuries to two soldiers," the official said, adding that the suspects managed to escape from the area.

Sources said there were three to four militants hiding in the area where the encounter took place, "A search operation has been launched in the area to nab the suspects," the Army official said.

The officials said the condition of one of the soldier, whose identity was not immediately known, is critical. Both the soldiers have been shifted to the Army hospital in Srinagar for treatment.

Militant activity has picked up in Kashmir Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in Kokernag's Bamdoora village in July.

According to police sources, more than dozen attacks have been reported from different areas in the last month alone, making it one of the worse month for security forces battling militants in the restive region.

There has also been a spike in the trend of local youths joining militant groups following Burhan's killing with at least 35 youth, according to J&K Police, reported to have taken to arms in the last five months.

While the security forces have managed to kill some of the local youths in counter insurgency operations which were resumed in November after five months of protracted unrest , the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has stressed on "encouraging" the new recruits to surrender instead of killing them.