Raipur: Five jawans killed and 12 injured in a fierce encounter ensued between security forces and Naxals in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh on Saturday noon, said OP Pal, DIG Naxal said while addressing the media in Raipur on Saturday.

The joint security forces team also recovered the body of Woman naxal. Support party reached the site, and rescue operation is on, said DIG Pal.

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On the special input of heavy presence of armed Maoists, a joint team consisting of District Reserve Guards (DRG), Special Task Force (STF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from Sukma and Bijapur were dispatched to Jonaguda village, limits Jagargunda Police Station. This joint team consists of 2058 jawans from Bijapur and Sukma.

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The armed Maoists Guerrilla of PLGA engaged in a fierce encounter in the Silger forest of Bijapur's Tarem and lasted for more than three hours, the sources said.

As per government statement, 5 jawans martyred in the encounter including CRPF’s COBRA force-1, Bastariya Battalion- 2, DRG- 2.

" One security personnel died and four others injured in an exchange of fire with Naxals in jungles near Tarrem, Bijapur, DGP DM Awasthi said to the media.

9 Ambulances, 2 MI-17 helicopters reached the spot, rescue operation of the injured jawans started. Seriously injured jawans will be airlifted to Raipur for further treatment, one senior official said.

However, on the encounter Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu said, in the anti-naxal operation more 1500 jawans participated. Our policy is quite clear on the Naxal issue, we are fighting naxalism by giving momentum to the development and curbing the naxal menace by force.

Also Read: Chhattisgarh: 5 killed, 14 injured as Maoists blow up bus carrying DRG jawans

In the last two and half years, no fake encounters, arrests have occurred. Our forces fought bravely, we have a record number of arrests, surrender and killing of naxals, HM Sahu said.

Meanwhile, condemning the naxal attack, ex-CM Dr. Raman Singh attacked the Baghel government and said, the government has no concrete policy to fight naxal. The government must come up with some concrete anti-naxal policy , Raman Singh said.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed deep grief over the martyrdom of 5 jawans in the encounter between the security forces and Naxalites.

The martyrdom of the security forces will not go in vain. Our soldiers have also done great harm to the Naxalites by displaying immense courage. Security forces will campaign against Naxalites even more rapidly, CM Baghel said.

He also directed the official to provide better treatment facilities to the soldiers injured in this incident, the communique said.

Notably, a high level meeting of security experts is still going on in Chhattisgarh Police Headquarters, Raipur.

Earlier this week, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) arrested three Naxals for planting explosives to target security forces in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district.

Last month, Naxals killed a Zila Panchayat member in Bijapur district. Barely hours before the incident, Naxals set nearly 11 vehicles on fire in Dhanora area of Kondagaon district