At least two Special Task Force (STF) personnel were killed and five injured in a gunfight with Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Saturday, police said.
The STF men were patrolling an area of the Tundamarka forests in Chintagufa area around 10 a.m. when they came under fire from a group of Maoists. In the ensuing exchange of fire, two of them were killed and five were injured.
"An Indian Air Force helicopter rescued the injured from the site. They have been taken to a hospital here for treatment," said Inspector General (Naxal (Maoist) Operations) Vivekanand Sinha.
Ramkrishna Hospital Director Sandeep Dave said: "The injured jawans are being treated and they are in stable condition. Two jawans have undergone operations and are out of danger."
A joint operation against the Maoists is ongoing in the state where police is claiming to have killed 15-20 Maoists. Nine Maoists have been arrested during the operations.
"The Maoists wouldn't have thought that a operation would occur in Tundamarka forests. The attack has caused heavy Maoist casualties," Sinha said.
Seven Maoists have been arrested from Dantewada district's Kuankonda area and two from Sukma's Kukanar area. One Maoist was killed in a gunfight in Bijapur district, he added.
Director General D.M. Avasthi said: "During the ongoing joint operations, Maoists shot at a battalion of District Reserve Guards which returned fire and even destroyed a weapons factory of the Maoists. The security forces have conducted many operations against the Maoists after May 8."
Reportedly, a meeting of senior officials is underway in the police headquarters which includes Avasthi, Air Commodore Ajay Shukla, CRPF Inspector General Devendra Chauhan and others.
On April 24, 25 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed in an ambush in Sukma's Burkapal area while 12 CRPF troopers were killed in a Maoist attack in Sukma on March 11.