Three Maoists were killed in a fierce encounter with security forces in a forest area of Odisha's Rayagada district, police said on Friday.
The gunbattle took place during a combing operation by security personnel inside Tureighat forest near Kirambadunguri village on Thursday night, Rayagada Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandit said.
A joint team of the Central Reserve Police Force, Odisha's elite anti-Maoist Special Operation Group and the police was carrying out combing operations in the forest when the armed Maoists challenged them, he said.
As the security personnel retaliated, a fierce exchange of fire took place with the ultras which continued well past midnight, the SP said.
Bodies of three Maoists were found after the encounter, the SP said, adding that some arms and ammunition were also found at the spot inside the forest.
A massive combing operation was conducted in the forest after the encounter in a bid to nab the fleeing Maoists, police said.