Raipur | Jagran News Desk: At least five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel lost their lives while 12 others were severely injured in a gunbattle with Naxals in the jungles of Tarrem in Chhattisgarh Bijapur, said state DGP DM Awasthi.

Provinding details about the incident, senior state officials said that CRPF's elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action unit (CoBRA), the Special Task Force (STF) and the District Reserve Guard (DRG) were conducting an anti-Maoist operation in Tarrem when the encounter broke out.

The officials said that nine Naxals -- including a woman operative -- were also killed in the gunbattle, noting that Maoists have "suffered substantial loss".

Following the incident, DGP DM Awasthi, Special DG (Anti-Naxal Operations) Ashoke Juneja and other state officials held a high-level meet to discuss the situation in Bijapur.

"At around 12 noon on Saturday, an encounter broke out between the patrolling team that was dispatched from Tarrem and ultras belonging PLGA (Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army) battalion of Maoists near Jonaguda village under Jagargunda police station area (in Sukma)," state's Deputy Inspector General (anti-naxal operations) OP Pal said, as reported by news agency PTI.

"Reinforcements were rushed to the spot and the operation was underway to evacuate injured jawans as well as the bodies from the forest through helicopters," he added.

Over the last few years, the security forces have beefed up operations against the Naxals in Chhattisgarh. However, the Naxals have also increased attacks on forces in its reply. Last month, five policemen were killed after the Naxals blew up the bus in the Narayanpur district.

The landmine explosions took place between Kanhargaon and Kadenar villages under Dhaudai police station limits. Personnel of the police's DRG were returning in the bus to Narayanpur town, 300 km away from capital Raipur, after a counter-insurgency operation.

"Anti-Naxal operations were going on. One DRG party was returning after the operation when around 4.15 pm, three IED blasts took place at a bridge in their route. The driver and two jawans were killed on the spot, and two died later at the hospital. Five jawans lost their lives," the officials had said, adding that they will launch counter operation.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma