Four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were killed and two injured in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh Thursday, police said.
The encounter comes a week before polling for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections is held in the state.
The skirmish took place around noon in a dense forest near Mahla village in Kanker district when a joint team of BSF's 114th battalion and the District Force was out on a search operation, police said.
"Four BSF troopers were killed and two injured in the incident," Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operations) Sundarraj P told PTI.
The patrolling team had launched the operation from the BSF's Mahla camp, located around 250 from Raipur, he said.
When the security men were advancing through a forest patch, a group of naxals fired at them, leading to a gun battle, he said.
The deceased were identified as BSF's assistant sub- inspector Boro, and constables Ramkrishnan, Someshwar and Ishrar Khan, he said.
Assistant commandant Gopu Ram and inspector Gopal Ram were injured in the exchange of fire, he said.
Soon after being alerted, reinforcement was rushed to the spot, he said, adding that a search operation was underway in the area.
The bodies and the injured personnel were brought to the BSF's Mahla camp later, he said.
Polling in the Kanker Lok Sabha constituency will be held along with two other seats - Mahasamund and Rajnandgaon - in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections in Chhattisgarh on April 18.
Polling for other two phases in the state will be held on April 11 and 23.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)