Security forces gunned down 12 Maoists in Jharkhand's tribal-dominated Palamau district in the wee hours of Tuesday.
"The encounter took place in Bakoria village, about 140 km from Ranchi in the wee hours. All the bodies have been recovered," PTI quoted Superintendent of Police Mayur Patel as saying.
The encounter began at around 1 am, Additional Director General of Police (Operations) S N Pradhan said.
After the gunfight stopped at around 2 am, the security forces recovered arms and ammunition, besides the bodies of the suspected CPI Maoists.
"Eight arms and 200 rounds of ammunition besides other items were recovered from the spot," Palamu zone inspector general A Natrajan told Hindustan Times.
The encounter took place when a team of Jharkhand police and assault groups from commandos of the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) rushed to the incident site after getting inputs that a rebel group was trying to enter Palamau district.
The team was deployed in the area when the Maoists reached there in two vehicles. While one sped away on seeing the personnel, Maoists from the other got down from the vehicle and opened fire at the security forces.
The security personnel also fired in retaliation, gunning down 12 naxalites. Natrajan and Palamu police superintendent Mayur Patel rushed to the spot with reinforcement soon after the encounter began.
Pradhan said the rebels were the "dasta (firing squad) of CPI (Maoist) 'zonal commander' RK alias 'doctor'.
A search operation has been launched to nab the others. Meanwhile, senior police and CRPF officials are camping at the encounter site.
This encounter is being considered a major breakthrough for Jharkhand security forces after Maoists ambushed a police vehicle in Dumka and killed six policemen on 20 April, 2014.