New Delhi: Taking nearly a day to search for the missing security personnel after a naxal encounter broke out in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police on Sunday sad that the bodies of 17 security personnel have been found. Also Read - 2 CoBRA Soldiers Killed in Encounter With Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur, 2 Others Injured

“Bodies of 17 security personnel were recovered by a search team and were being evacuated from forests,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told news agency PTI. Also Read - Chhattisgarh Cabinet Passes Anti-CAA Resolution, Likely to Bring it to Legislative Assembly Soon

The development comes after 14 policemen were injured in the encounter took place on Saturday near Korajguda hills in Chintagufa- Burkapal area when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Naxal operation.

After getting input about a huge gathering of ultras, a major joint offensive, separate teams of nearly 600 personnel belonging to the District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA)- an elite unit of CRPF, launched an anti-Naxal operation from three sides towards Elmagunda.

Police said that when the patrolling teams were near Minpa village forests, a group of around 250 heavily armed ultras ambushed them, leaving 15 personnel injured. Police further added that the gun battle continued for about two-and-a-half hours.

“Later, 17 personnel were found to be missing for which a search operation was launched. Today, their bodies have been recovered and the search team is on the way back,” he said.

Earlier in the day, issuing a statement, police had said that 14 police personnel were injured and 13 were missing after the gunfight.

As per updates from police, the injured personnel were airlifted to Raipur and admitted to a private hospital where the condition of two of them is stated to be critical.