At least six naxalites are suspected to have been killed in a shootout with police near Kasampalli village in Gadchiroli, some 120 kms from district headquarters, police said.
About 60 naxalites had camped at Kasampalli in south Gadchiroli when two groups of C-60 commmando units of police reached there Wednesday and launched an offensive, Gadchiroli district Superintendent of Police Shirish Jain told PTI from Gadchiroli.
The commandos, after noticing the naxalite camp, fired mortar at the group, leading to a large number of casualties, Jain said.
"We suspect deaths the of at least six to seven naxalites, while at least half a dozen more are seriously wounded," Jain said, adding that reports from neighbouring villages that the naxalites forced villagers to lend 'charpoys' to ferry killed and injured naxalites to safer places.
No one from the commando units was killed or injured in the incident although the naxalites retaliated with a heavy fire from automatic weapons, the Gadchiroli SP said.
According to Jain, the offensive was launched following a tip off about the naxal congregation near Kasampalli village, and after the naxalites escaped, a large number of camp material has been seized from the place. Jain said the commandos have been using mortar to attack naxalites after police sought special permission from the armed forces. A two-inch mortar was used in Wednesday's offensive.
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