Five security personnel, including two STF jawans, were injured on 8 December when Naxals ambushed a team of security forces in the restive jungles of Chhattisgarh's insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said.
Police also claimed to have gunned down at least 15 ultras in the skirmish although no bodies were recovered from the spot.
"The exchange of fire took place between a joint team of Special Task Force (STF), state's District Reserve Group (DRG) and rebels when security forces were out on an anti-Naxal operation in Kistaram area," Inspector General of Police (anti-Naxal operations) Deepanshu Kabra told PTI.
Briefing about the incident, Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range SRP Kalluri said, the joint squad, about 250 in number, had launched the operation last night based on the inputs about presence of rebels in the region.
While security forces were cordoning off a forested patch near Tetemadgu village, a group of about 150 armed rebels opened indiscriminate firing on them following which security forces launched retaliatory action, Kalluri said.
After the fierce ensuing gun-fight that lasted for about two hours, police eliminated some rebels which prompted the others to escape from the spot, the IG said.
Taking the advantage of rough terrain and dense forests, they also managed to drag away bodies from the spot, he said.
"There are reports of death of 15 Naxals in the encounter. Although two STF and three DRG jawans also sustained minor injuries in the incident," he added.
Those injured are constable Anup Kumar, Assistant Constable Soyam Ramesh, belonging to STF, Constable Indal Kumar and two Assistant Constables Kattam Sitaram and Nurum Kamdev, belonging to DRG, have been airlifted to Raipur for treatment, he said.
They are undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Raipur and are stated to be stable, the officer said.