Fourteen communists were killed during a clash with security forces in India on Aug. 6.
The Maoists opened fire on the forces as the team searched the forests in the Sukma district in the tribal region of Chhattisgarh, between Gollapalli and Konta, reported the Times of India.
The forces began firing back and eventually killed 14 Maoists, said Vivekanand Sinha, inspector general of police in Bastar Range. An additional death was later reported by NDTV.
The search was launched after security forces received intelligence about a large number of Maoists in the area.
Reinforcements were sent to the area to try to retrieve as many of the bodies as possible; typically, Maoists try to take away the bodies of their dead comrades as quickly as possible.
According to NDTV, all 15 bodies were recovered by security forces.
Maoists said in pamphlets circulated in the area that 247 Maoists have been killed during clashes with security forces over the past two years, not including Monday’s toll.
#BREAKING: 14 Maoists gunned down in a major operation led by CRPF and the Chattisgarh Police in the Konta forests of Sukma in Chattisgarh. Arms and ammunitions recovered along with dead bodies. Intel report indicated that 200 Maoists moving around in the area. Ops continue.
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 6, 2018
— Times of India (@timesofindia) August 6, 2018
D. M. Awashti, the state’s Special Director General of Police, told reporters that the operation was one of the largest in the history of Chhattisgarh.
Teams included personnel from the District Reserve Guard, Special Task Force, Central Reserve Police Force and its elite unit Commando Battalion for Resolute Action, with one of the teams comprising of around 200 personnel.
“Forces were sent to cordon off the camp inside the jungle. On Monday morning, a DRG team saw the Maoist camp and challenged the rebels. They fired at the security forces, who retaliated,” said Abhishek Meena, superintendent of the police department in Sukma, reported the Hindustan Times.
“There were about 40 Maoists in the camp when the encounter started but some of them managed to flee.”
Vanjam Hunga, a commander for the Maoists, was one of the 15 killed; the others haven’t been identified as of yet.
Besides the deaths, security forces seized hundreds of firearms and explosives and arrested a Maoist who had a bounty on his head and a female Maoist.