Raipur: Four Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) troopers and four Maoist rebels were killed in separate incidents of violence in Chhattisgarh on Sunday, police said.
An explosion killed the troopers and injured two of their colleagues when the vehicle they were travelling in passes over a landmine planted by the Maoists in Dantewada district, some 400 km from here.
"The vehicle of CISF men, deployed at Bailadila hills to guard iron ore mining facilities of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), was tossed up in the air due to the impact of the explosion," Amresh Mishra, Dantewada superintendent of police, said on phone.
"Four soldiers were killed on the spot and two others were injured and taken to a local hospital in Bacheli town," he said.
The Moaists escaped into the forests after firing at the troopers.
Meanwhile, four Maoist insurgents, including a woman, were killed in three separate gunbattles with security forces in the forested stretches in Bijapur and Narayanpur districts of the state on Sunday.
The gunbattles started in the early hours of Sunday and continued till late evening. At least 15 kg of explosives were recovered from the Maoists, police said.
"Our 'jawans' (soldiers) had strategically encircled armed Maoists in their hideouts at two places in Bijapur district and at one site in Narayanpur district, in which four guerrillas were shot dead after a daylong intense gunbattle," T J Longkumer, inspector general of police, Bastar range, said.
Police also recovered guns and explosives filled in tiffin boxes.
The Bastar region, spread over about 40,000 sq km area, is a stronghold of the Leftist radicals. Since 2004, at least 1,500 people have been killed in the state in Maoist related violence.
Officials at the police headquarters here say that the state police in co-ordination with paramilitary troopers will now consistently raid rebel strongholds in Bastar which comprises five districts - Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Bastar.