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17 Naxals killed, hideout busted

As many as 17 Maoists have been killed in two separate encounters with the police in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh. Most of those slain are from Andhra Pradesh.
Hindustan Times | By Ashok Das, S Karimuddin & Ejaz Kaiser, Hyderabad/jagdalpur/raipur
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2008 02:10 AM IST

As many as 17 Maoists were killed in two separate encounters with the police in Bijapur district in Chhattisgarh, close to the Andhra Pradesh border, on Tuesday. Most of those slain are from Andhra Pradesh.

The state Home Minister K Jana Reddy confirmed the Andhra Pradesh police had participated in the joint operations with the Chhattisgarh police.

On a tip-off that Maoists were conducting a meeting in the forests, a joint force of Chhattisgarh and AP police, including Greyground commandos, undertook combing operations. Fourteen Maoists, including seven women cadres, were killed on the spot.

The police recovered two AK-47 rifles, four self-loading rifles and three .303 guns from the encounter site. Reddy said 700 police personnel from both the states, including 250 to 300 Greyhound commandos from AP, took part in the four-hour-long encounter with about 80 to 90 Maoists.

In a separate encounter, three Maoists were killed in the forests in Bijapur district, taking the toll to 17.

The dead included four Maoist commanders. Bastar range IG RK Vij told HT the joint team led by the Greyhound force inflicted heavy casualties on the ultras. "We have recovered 14 bodies of Naxalitesand 12 weapons including three AK-47 and five SLR from the encounter site," said Vij.

In another secret operation under Operation Area Domination, the Chhattisgarh police along with AP and Maharashtra teams, stormed and flushed out the rebels from the dense forest regions of Abujhmarh.

The joint operation involving 1000 security personnel is believed to have successfully liberated the hilly terrain region from Maoist control.

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