The encounter broke out early today between a Border Security Force patrol and armed Naxal cadres near the Chhotebethiya-Pakhanjore jungle axis of the Maoist violence-hit district, officials said.

"While two jawans have been martyred in the exchange of fire, four others have been injured," they said.

Skirmish took place at around 2:30 am when a composite squad of BSF and district force was on a special operation in the interior forests of Bande police station area of the district, Kanker Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Jayant Vaishnav said over phone.

A joint squad of BSF's 117th and 122nd battalion along with district force had launched the anti-Naxal operation from Chhotebethiya camp of BSF in Pakhanjore region - located around 300 kms away from the state capital, the DSP said, adding that when the security forces reached near a river in the dense forest of Becha village, Naxals opened indiscriminate firing on them, leaving six jawans injured.

Two succumbed to their injuries while being airlifted to Raipur and four other injured have been shifted to Raipur and admitted at Ramkrishna Care Hospital, Vaishnav said.

The deceased jawans have been identified as Vijay Kumar and Rakesh Nehra, while the injured are Manoj Kumar, S Thomson, Jagdish K and Bappa D.

Both the personnel who were killed were inducted into the force in 2011-12.

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