At least 11 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed and four others were injured following an ambush by suspected Naxals Chhattisgarh's Sukma district.
The injured personnel have been evacuated to Raipur for treatment. An emergency meeting of top police officials has been called in Raipur to assess the situation.
IG, Bastar, Sunder Raj P told India Today confirmed that 11 CRPF personnel were killed in an ambush laid by Naxals in Bhejji, around 20 kilometers from the district headquarters of Sukma.
Small arms fire and IED explosions were part of the ambush, the top cop added. Sources also said that the weapons belonging to the deceased CRPF personnel are also missing.
Combing operations were launched in the area following the ambush and police claims that two Naxals were killed in retaliatory firing but none of the bodies have been recovered.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi both expressed sorrow over the incident. Singh tweeted, "Deeply pained to learn of the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased."
PM Modi meanwhile posted a message on Twitter saying he has spoken to Rajnath Singh and that Singh is heading to Sukma to take stock of the situation.
The ambush took place when CRPF personnel of the 219 battalion were taking part in a road opening operation.
In terms of casualties among security personnel, the ambush is the deadliest incident of 2017. The ambush comes amidst claims by the Chhattisgarh government that Naxals have their backs against the walls.