At least five Naxals, including a senior woman cadre, and two police jawans were killed in a gun-battle between security personnel and the ultras in Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Dantewada district today.
Three security personnel, including two sub-inspectors (SIs), were also injured in the encounter.
An injured Naxal was arrested from the spot.
"The skirmish took place at around 2 PM between a team of state police's District Reserve Group (DRG) and the ultras in the jungles of Burgum village under Aranpur police station limits," Inspector General of Police (in-charge) Bastar Range Sundarraj P told PTI.
"While the bodies of five rebels, including two women, belonging to Malangir Area Committee of Maoists, were recovered from the spot, two security personnel also lost their lives in the incident," the IG said.
DRG commandos had launched an anti-Maoist operation in the core areas of Aranpur based on specific inputs, the IG said.
When security forces were cordoning off jungles of Dorepara in Burgum village, they came across a group of Naxals leading to the gun-battle.
The intermittent firing lasted for more than an hour following which rebels escaped from the place, he added.
During search, five bodies of ultras and a few weapons, including one AK 47 rifle and one Insas rife, were recovered, he said, adding one injured Naxal was arrested.
However, DRG constable Nirmal Netam and a Gopniya Sainik (secret troop recruited as auxiliary personnel) Sukram Gavde also killed in the exchange of fire, he added.
Moreover, two SI-rank officials — Sangram Singh and Dogendra Parte — and constable Mukesh Tatti, all belonging to DRG, were injured in the encounter, the IG said.
"The injured personnel were shifted to a local hospital and they were said to be out of danger," he added.
The injured Naxal was also being provided treatment.
Of the women ultras killed in the encounter, one was identified as Palle, who was active as secretary of Malangir Area Committee and member of Darbha Divisional Committee of Maoists and another as Vijje, a member of the same area committee, he said.
Palle was carrying a reward of Rs 8 lakh on her head while Vijje was carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh, police said.
The identity of three other Naxals was being ascertained, he added.