"Six Naxals were gunned down in Mahasamund district in an encounter which lasted for three hours," Inspector General of Police R K Vij told PTI.
The two villagers were used as a shield by the Maoists in the gunfight in the forest near Padkipalli, Rishidadar and Chotellora villages in the district, he said.
According to Vij, initially it was believed that eight Naxals were killed. Only after the recovered bodies were brought to the Sankra police station, it became clear that of the casualties, two were villagers, he said.
Police have recovered bodies of the Naxals and several weapons like SLRs, guns and pistols. After reviewing the area littered with flesh and blood, it appears that more Naxals may have been killed in the firing, police said, adding the spot may have been a Naxal military camp comprising nearly 80 cadres.
Vij said the gunfight broke out after a joint team of ATS, STF and police were tipped off regarding Naxals presence in the forest near Padkipal village in Mahasamund.
When the security men reached the forest, Naxals fired at them following which the joint team retaliated. Two injured security men Kirtan Dadu and Avinash Baghel have been sent to Raipur for treatment, police said.
Expressing concern on Naxals spreading tentacles, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said necessary directives have been issued to police to contain Maoist activities in areas hitherto not infested by them.
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