At least 17 security personnel have been killed in an encounter with Maoists in Chintagufa area of Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Saturday. The incident took place on Saturday afternoon when a joint team of DRG, STF and CoBRA from Chintagufa, Burkapal and Timelwada was ambushed near Korajguda hills at around 02:30 pm.

They had gone to an operation to Elmagunda following inputs of a major congregation of Maoists from Sikma and Bijapur. They reached Elmagunda and were reportedly ambushed by a group of around 250 Maoists, who opened fire. The jawans retaliated and fought valliantly. 15 DRG men also sustained bullet injuries in the encounter and four of them were said to be in critical condition.

naxals ambush in chhattisgarh
REPRESENTATIONAL IMAGE: Injured personnel of Special Task Force being treated after an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Sukma District on April 11,2015. The encounter took place in the Pedmal forest area of the district when a team of STF was out on an operation.IANS

Another party of 550 men sent to retrieve the jawans

After receiving inputs of the attack, another team of around 550 men from DRG, STF and CoBra was sent to retrieve the bodies and soldiers on Sunday morning, Durgesh Awasthi, DGP Chhattisgarh said. He said that they had received intel that more than 250 Maoists from PLGA 1 and Company 2 were meeting at Elmagunda and a party was sent there to neutralise them.

"It was the biggest yet congregation of the Maoists in the area from Bijapur and Sukma. Following the information our men went to fight them and were ambushed," the Indian Express quoted DGP Awasthi as saying.

The encounter between the security personnel and Maoists went on for more than five hours and several Maoists were also believed to have died. "The exchange of fire went on for over five hours and our men fought valliantly. We have sent a new team of around 550 men from Burkapal and Chintagufa. They have been ordered to neutralize any Naxal presence and retrieve our men as fast as possible. We hope that some of our men are safe," he added.