Seven Maoists were killed in two separate gunfights with security forces on Thursday along the border of Narayanpur and Bijapur districts in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar division, The Times of India reported citing state police officials.

The gunfights took place in the Abujhmaad forest, which lies in the tri-junction region of Narayanpur, Bastar and Dantewada districts, the Hindustan Times reported.

A team of the District Reserve Guard, the Bastar Fighters and a Special Task Force launched the operation after they received information about the presence of Maoist leaders and insurgents of the Indrawati Area Committee in the area, Dantewada Superintendent of Police Gaurav Rai told The Times of India.

A gunfights broke out between security forces and the suspected Maoists at around 11 am on Thursday, Rai said. Nearly 1,000 security personnel from Narayanpur, Dantewada and Bastar districts were part of the joint operation, reported the Hindustan Times.

The superintendent of police said that two bodies of suspected Maoists were recovered by the Narayanpur security personnel and five bodies were recovered by the Dantewada security personnel in two separate gunfights.

Seven automatic weapons were also recovered from the sites, Rai added.

The joint operation was still underway, Narayanpur Superintendent of Police Prabhat Kumar told The Times of India.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai described the gunfight and the killing of seven Maoists as a big success for the security forces.

“Our government is fighting strongly against Naxalism,” he said in a social media post on X. “Our goal is to eradicate Naxalism from the state.”

Since January, 112 suspected Maoists have been killed in gunfights, The Times of India reported.

Twelve suspected Maoists were killed on May 10 in a gunfight with security personnel in Bijapur district. However, two days later, villagers and activists claimed that those killed were civilians who were later branded by the police as insurgents, the Hindustan Times reported.

In another incident on April 30, seven alleged Maoists, including two women, were killed in a gunfight with security forces along the border of Kanker and Narayanpur districts.

Twenty-nine suspected Maoists were killed in a gunfight in Kanker on April 16.