At least five Maoists, including a woman, were gunned down in an exchange of fire with security personnel in a forest in Malkangiri district Monday, a senior police official said.
The gun battle took place near Paplur area under the jurisdiction of the Kalimela police station when Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel were conducting a combing operation, Director General of Police (DGP), R P Sharma said.
He said the five Maoists were killed in the encounter and the casualty could be more as search operation in the area was still in progress. No security personnel was injured in the operation.
The security personnel recovered two INSAS rifles, one SLR, one 303 rifle and a hand grenade from the spot, the DGP said.
Additional Director General of Police (Operations) R P Koche said efforts were on to track other rebels who ran away from the area during the gun battle.
Two teams of SOG have been conducting a combing operation since Sunday and they spotted a group of Maoists in the jungle. After noticing the security personnel, the Maoists fired and the SOG jawans retaliated leading to the encounter, police said.
It is suspected that Maoist leader ‘Randev’, who was present at the spot, escaped from the area, they said.
The DGP said efforts were on to ascertain the identity of the deceased rebels.