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Gunbattle In Orissa, 10 Naxals Killed

Several Maoists were reportedly killed and many wounded on Sunday by security forces in a fierce 20-hour gunbattle in Orissa's Koraput district.  Reports spoke of at least 10 Maoists being killed in the encounter. Police,
PTI May 09, 2010 22:19 IST
PTI

Several Maoists were reportedly killed and many wounded on Sunday by security forces in a fierce 20-hour gunbattle in Orissa's Koraput district.

 Reports spoke of at least 10 Maoists being killed in the encounter. Police, however, said they were yet to recover bodies.

 Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said during the encounter "there were a number of injuries and also perhaps some Maoists were killed".

 He said further details were awaited about the encounter between Maoists and a joint team of Orissa police, elite Greyhound force of Andhra Pradesh and BSF.

 Loss of lives and injury among the ultras were suspected after heavy exchange of fire, that broke out with security personnel last night, continued till this morning in a forest of Podapadar area under Narayanpatna police station limit, about 100 km from here, police said.

"Likelihood of casualties among the Maoists is high, but we are yet to recover any body after the intense gunbattle. The ultras always try not to leave bodies of their cadres in encounter sites," Koraput Superintendent of Police, Anup Kumar Sahoo said.

However, there are indications of a couple of bodies having been dragged from the site of encounter by the ultras while fleeing, he said, adding, a massive combing operation was under way in the forest.

Police said blood stains could be seen along the route in which the Maoists retreated after the exchange of fire, while some kit bags and other articles were also found from the encounter site in the forest.

A clear picture would be available after the forest was thoroughly searched and scanned, Sahoo said.

The encounter took place after security personnel spotted some armed ultras near a hilly area.  The rebels opened fire which was quickly retaliated by the security forces, police said.

The gun battle came a day after top CRPF brass held discussions about anti-Maoist strategies with the Orissa Chief Minister.

It also came on the eve of a high-level meeting convened by the Union Home Ministry in New Delhi on May 10 with top officials of six Maoist-hit states, including Orissa as part of efforts to fine-tune anti-Naxal strategies, official sources said. PTI