At least eight Maoist militants were killed and two policemen injured in a gun battle in India's worst Leftist insurgency-hit Chhattisgarh on Saturday, police said.
The gun battle began in Mahasamund district close to Orissa state border after a large contingent of state police force encircled Maoist guerrillas. The gunfight continued for around four hours.
This is for the first time that the police and Maoists fought in the district, so far untouched by the rebel group.
"It's a great achievement. The Maoists have been striving to make inroads in Mahasamund district. We have also recovered arms," Vishwa Ranjan, director general of police (DGP), told IANS.
Maoists on Friday killed three troopers of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Rajnandgaon district triggering a landmine blast.
Maoists have presence in 13 of the state's total 18 districts with considerable base in seven districts.