Three Maoists killed in encounter

Rourkela, Feb 11 (PTI) At least three Maoists, includingan area commander, were today killed in a fierce encounterwith security forces in Orissa''s Sundargarh district,officials said.

The exchange of fire took place during a joint combingoperation by CRPF jawans and state police in dense Sarandaforest under Bisra police station limit, bordering Jharkhand,CRPF sources said.

The security personnel retaliated after the red rebelshiding in the forest opened fire on them at Akhayatila Nala,about 30 km from here, they said.

Bodies of three Maoists were recovered after thegunbattle, they said, adding one of the deceased wasidentified as Mohd Musleem, area commander of Maoists in Dighaarea in Jharkhand.

A rifle, a pistol, large quantity of cartridges andvolumes of Maoist literature including leaflets and posterswere seized from the site.

A massive combing operation has been launched in theforest, they said.

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