Security forces and Maoists exchanged fire in a forest in Orissa's Malkangiri district on Sunday morning and police claimed that some of the Naxalites had sustained injuries.
Acting on a tip-off about the presence of a large number of rebels, security personnel conducted raids in Padigata forest under Kelimela police station, around 60 kms from here, Superintendent of Police Anirudh Singh said.
When the ultras opened fire from their hide-out, the security personnel retaliated, leading to the exchange of fire, he said, adding that the Maoists fled the scene and disappeared into the dense forest after a brief encounter.
Though some of the ultras, who have planned to observe the Independence Day on Monday as a "black day", were believed to have sustained injuries during the encounter, a clear picture was yet to emerge, sources said.
While about nine persons have been detained for questioning, a massive combing operation was launched by police and the elite anti-naxal Special Operation Group (SOG) in the entire area in an effort to nab the ultras, they said.
The Maoists had raised some black flags and posters in the area, they said.