"The cadres were gunned down following a prolonged exchange of fire between a joint squad of security personnel and ultras in the forests of Mirtoor police station limits," Inspector General of Police, Bastar Range, SRP Kalluri told.

Acting on a specific intelligence inputs about the presence of rebels in the jungles of Bechapal of Mirtoor region, located around 400 km away from the state capital, the contingent of Special Task Force (STF) and district forces mobilised towards the spot, the IG said.

On finding the Naxals in a patch of Bechapal forests, security forces started encircling them.

Meanwhile, sensing the presence of police, the cadres opened indiscriminate firing on them following which they retaliated, the IG said.

The intermittent firing lasted for about two hours after which the Naxals ran away in the core jungle area, he said.

After the gun-battle, the site was inspected and body of a man and a woman wearing the Naxal uniform were recovered, the official said, adding that they will be identified once the party gets back to its camp.

Besides, an Insas rifle, a muzzle loading gun, a 12-bore gun, Naxal literature and explosives were also seized from the spot, the IG added.

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