As many as 24 bodies were found from the site of the gunfight that broke out between security forces and Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region in India on Saturday. While 32 soldiers were injured, 1 was reported missing. Bijapur's superintendent of police Kamalochan Kashyap confirmed the toll.
The gunfight that broke out in Terram jungles along the borders of Bijapur and Sukma districts also resulted in the death of a suspected Maoist, officials said.
"Some security personnel are missing and a search operation is on. Out of the five personnel, who lost their lives on Saturday, we have recovered the body of two and three are still in the jungle," DM Awasthi, Chhattisgarh's director general of police, said.
Earlier in the day, a senior police official said operation to find the missing soldiers was underway and the toll was likely to increase. "The death toll could increase in the next few hours. The teams for evacuation have been sent to the jungles," he said.
On March 23, five jawans of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) were killed while fourteen others were injured in serial IED blasts after alleged Maoists targeted the bus ferrying them in Narayanpur district of Bastar region.
In a similar incident on March 21 last year, 17 security personnel, including 12 from the DRG, were killed in a Maoist ambush in Sukma district of the region.