The Sunabeda sanctuary is located close to the Chhattisgarh border. Maoists have allegedly created a base inside the deep forest for the past several years.
The rebels fled after the policemen returned fire. “However, a district voluntary force (DVF) personnel and a special police officer (SPO) lost their lives during the exchange of fire,” inspector general of police (operation) Soumendra Priyadarshi said.
The latest Maoist attack comes less than a week after a large number of tribals of the area held a meeting and announced to help police and wage war against left-wing extremists in the region.
Maoists are active in more than half of Odisha's 30 districts. Sunabeda is considered one of their strongholds.
(With inputs from IANS)