Five jawans killed in encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh

Five security personnel including two CRPF jawans have been killed and around 10 others sustained injuries during an encounter with Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Saturday.

Chhattisgarh DGP DM Awasthi said that the encounter took place at around noon when the security forces were carrying out a joint anti-Maoist operation in Tarrem area of Bijapur district, about 400 km south of the state capital.

The forces comprised Centra Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) elite unit CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), the District Reserve Guard (DRG) and the Special Task Force (STF).

"Five security personnel died and around 10 others injured in an encounter with the Maoists in the jungles near Tarrem, Bijapur," Chhattisgarh DGP DM Awasthi was quoted as saying by ANI.

The operation is still on and some Maoists are also suspected to be killed during the exchange of fire.

Following the incident, an emergency meeting of the DGP, Special DG (Anti-Maoist Operations) Ashoke Juneja and other officers was held in Raipur.

The CRPF also confirmed five casualties on the part of the security forces in the encounter with the Maoists in Bijapur. It said that one Maoist has also been killed in the gunbattle.

"In an encounter in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, initial reports indicate that three District Reserve Guard (DRG) and two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans have been martyred. One Maoist has also been killed and the encounter is on," the CRPF was quoted as saying by IANS.

On March 23, five personnel of the DRG were killed and several injured in an IED blast-- the first major Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh this year -- in what the police said was a Maoist strike targeting a bus carrying more than 20 security personnel. (With inputs from agencies)

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