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10 Naxalites killed in encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh; arms seized

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Raipur, Apr 2 (PTI) In a major anti-insurgency operation, 10 Naxalites, including a woman, were killed in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Tuesday, police said.

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Bijapur district comes under the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls in the first phase of the general elections on April 19.

The gunfight occurred around 6 am in a forest between Lendra and Korcholi villages under the Gangaloor police station area, where a joint team of security personnel was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P told PTI.

Personnel belonging to the District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and its elite unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) were involved in the operation, he said.

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"After the exchange of fire stopped, bodies of four Naxalites were recovered from the spot, and subsequently, six more bodies were found at the encounter site during the search," the IG said.

A light machine gun (LMG), a .303 rifle, a 12-bore gun, a large number of barrel grenade launchers and shells, and other arms and ammunition were also seized from the spot, he said.

A search operation was still underway in the area, he said.

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"The identity of the Naxalites was yet to be ascertained but prima facie, it appears that they belonged to PLGA (Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army) company no. 2 of Maoists," the official said.

Notably, Naxalites carry out the Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) in summers between March and June every year and step up their activities. Several attacks have been carried out against security forces in the Bastar region during this period.

On March 27, six Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security forces in the Basaguda area of Bijapur, police earlier said.

With the latest incident, 43 Naxalites have been killed so far this year in separate encounters with security forces in the Bastar region, comprising seven districts including Bijapur, police said. PTI TKP GK ARU

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