Official sources said that the 40th battalion of ITBP and Chhattisgarh Police were proceeding towards Bhave area in Lachhna near Tanda river when they came under fire from Naxals around 8 am. The ITBP and the state police jointly retaliated.
Seeing the security personnel approaching, the Naxals exploded a huge improvised explosive device followed by heavy small arms fire.
Realising that the forces were dominating the encounter, the Naxals gradually fled from the spot towards Madhya Pradesh (Balaghat) jungles.
No casualties have been reported from either side so far. The area was cordoned off and searched thoroughly.
The Naxal camp was made of five temporary tents. Ration items, water storage tanks, buckets, one laptop with printer have been recovered from the site. Extensive search in the area is underway.
A claymore mine and two pressure cooker IEDs were also recovered from the site. The encounter site is surrounded by the thick jungle terrain and is believed to be a transit route for Naxals crossing over from Chhattisgarh to Madhya Pradesh and vice versa.
It is also believed that due to surging pressure, the Naxals have now shifted their base camps to the bordering areas where the terrain is difficult and from where they can take advantage of the topography while operating.
This is usually the time when the Naxals start their training sessions for the new recruits for the next three months followed by the outdoor exercises which they conduct in the month of March-April every year to target security forces. This is the first major achievement against Naxals in the area after the change of governments in both the states recently.
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