22 Indian security police and paramilitary forces were killed and 30 others injured in a gun battle with Maoist rebels in a central Indian state, police said on Sunday.
About 2,000 security personnel were on the hunt for a Maoist rebel leader in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh state on Saturday when they were ambushed, a police officer told AFP.
“So far it is confirmed that 22 security personnel were killed,” Chhattisgarh police’s Additional Director General Ashok Juneja revealed. “The search operation is still underway and the exact figure will be known… late Sunday evening.”
Juneja also said that the injured personnel were admitted to two government-run hospitals in Bijapur and Chhattisgarh’s capital city Raipur.
Furthermore, he added that more than dozen others remained missing, noting that an unknown number of Maoists were also killed in the encounter.
The death toll is likely to rise, another senior police officer in Bijapur district told AFP.
On his part, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in a tweet that the “sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten.
In the same vein, Home Minister Amit Shah wrote on Twitter that India would “continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress.”