Raipur: Eight villagers, including suspected Naxals and a security man of elite Cobra battalion, were killed in a gun-battle between security forces and the ultras in Maoist-affected Bijapur district in southern Chhattisgarh.

"Eight villagers, including suspected Naxals died, apart from one security personnel, in cross-firing between security forces and Maoists late on Friday night in the forest near Edesmeta village (under Gangalur police station)," Additional Director General of Police (Naxal Operation) RK Vij said.

Maoists tried to use some villagers as human shields during the encounter, the ADG said. Of the dead villagers, some were suspected to be members of Jan Militia group of Maoists, the ADG said, adding their identities were being ascertained.

The encounter took place when the Cobra (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) battalion 208, a specialized unit of CRPF, was on a combing operation. On seeing them, the ultras opened fire, killing Devprakash. Security forces retaliated, which forced the Naxals to flee to the denser part of the forest, the ADG said.


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