The incident occurred when three companies of C-60, an elite anti-Naxal outfit, targeted a secret meeting of the Naxalites. Around 100 armed Naxalites were present in the meeting at that time. The anti-Naxal personnel, who reached the spot on a tip-off, cordoned off the jungle.
The Naxalites retaliated and a two-hour battle gun-battle ensued.
Gadchiroli district superintendent of police (SP) Mohd Suvez Mohd Hague said the police recovered bodies of five ultras from the spot and they would be brought at Allapalli for identification in the night. He said they suspected death of at least ten extremists in the encounter. A large number of arms, ammunition and Naxalite literature were found from the spot.
Bharat Thakur, the sub-divisional police officer of Adheri who led the operation, said the Naxalites had carried three bodies with them during the encounter. He said the police had intensified the combing operation in the area immediately after the operation.
No policeman was, however, injured.
Thursday's encounter was the biggest offensive by the police forces in Gadchiroli, a Naxalite stronghold, this year. The Gadchiroli police had killed six Maoists in an encounter in January.