At least 13 Maoists were killed in an encounter with Maharashtra Police's C-60 commandos in the forests of Gadchiroli district, a senior official said Friday morning.
The encounter began at 5.30 am in a forested area near Kotmi, where the Maoists had gathered for a meeting, Sandeep Patil, DIG (Gadchiroli) told news agency PTI.
"Based on specific inputs, the police party - comprising C-60 commandos - had launched a search operation in the forest," he said, adding that the rebels had spotted the police and opened fire.
The encounter lasted around an hour, after which the remaining rebels escaped into the surrounding vegetation, Ankit Goyal, Superintendent of Police (Gadchiroli), told PTI.
The bodies of the Maoists have been recovered and a search operation is ongoing, he added.
Today's operation comes two months after five Maoists - who had a collective bounty of Rs 43 lakh - were killed in an encounter in the same district.
A cache of arms and ammunition, including an AK-47 rifle, a .12-bore rifle, a .303 rifle, an 8 mm rifle, as well as some electronic items, was recovered from the encounter site in the Khobramenda forest area.
"Gadchiroli Police's C-60 commandos conducted the operation... where they were attacked by 40 to 50 Maoists. The exchange of fire lasted for two to two-and-a-half hours, in which five Maoists were killed," Ankit Goyal, Gadchiroli SP, was quoted by PTI.
A few days before that encounter district police seized a rifle and three 'pressure-cooker' bombs that Maoists were allegedly planning to use to ambush security forces, an official said.
With input from PTI