Nagpur, May 19: Maoists killed five policemen and kidnapped one in a series of attacks today in Chhattisgarh and eastern Maharashtras Gadchiroli. The police claimed to have shot dead at least three rebels during the encounters.
Officers said the bodies of two very senior Maoists were found after an early morning encounter at Nargunda village in Gadchiroli, about 400km from Nagpur.
They claimed some troops had seen the rebels drag several bodies into the forest, suggesting the guerrillas may have suffered at least 10 casualties.
More than 150 heavily armed Maoists attacked a patrol of the elite C-60 commandos, killing unit commander Chinna Wenta, 34, and injuring two constables, Sadhu Pallo and Shankar Kowate, in an hour-long gunfight.
Within five hours, the rebels ambushed the police again in the same block near Bejur village, only 30km from the Nargunda encounter. The Maoists attacked a police team while it was unearthing a landmine detected during a road-opening operation.
Two special police officers, Sudhakar Mattami and Surendra Kothari, and constable Munshi Pungati, all aged 20, were killed.
In a pre-dawn attack at Cherpal village in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh, the rebels killed police constable Pawan Mandavi and abducted special police officer Ramaiyya. The policemen had gone to Cherpal to attend a wedding, agencies reports said.