An attack by Maoist insurgents in central India on Saturday resulted in the deaths of five police officers and another 18 missing, according to reports.
The body of a female rebel was also found, Senior Police Officer DM Awasthi told The Associated Press.
State radio All India initially reported 20 officers missing, AP reported.
“The sacrifices of the brave martyrs will never be forgotten,” Prime Minister Narenda Modi wrote on Twitter after the attack. “That the wounded recover as soon as possible.”
THE BUS GOES OFF THE BRIDGE TO THE CANAL IN CENTRAL INDIA; 40 DEAD
The attack targeted security personnel from the elite CoBRA unit of the Central Reserve Police Force, the District Reserve Guard and the Special Task Force, officials said Sunday, according to Reuters.
It happened in Chhattisgarh state during an anti-insurgency operation, Om Prakash Pal, a senior police official, told the news outlet.
The deaths occurred during a four-hour shooting in Sukma, a border district 340 miles from Raipur, the state capital, Reuters reported. A search was underway for the missing officers, Pal told the outlet.
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The attack continued with insurgent fighting that has raged for decades between the Maosists, also known as Naxals, and the government.
An earlier attack last month on a bus carrying 20 security officers also killed five officers, according to Reuters.
Associated Press contributed to this story.