Four soldiers of the Border Security Force were killed in an encounter with suspected Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district on Thursday, PTI quoted the police as saying. Two jawans were injured in the encounter.

The deceased were identified as BSF Assistant Sub-Inspector Boro, and constables Ramkrishnan, Someshwar and Ishrar Khan, Deputy Inspector General of Police P Sundarraj said. Assistant Commandant Gopu Ram and Inspector Gopal Ram were injured.

Sundarraj said the BSF’s 114th battalion had launched the operation from its Mahla camp, about 250 kilometres from Raipur. When the team was advancing through a patch of forest, the Maoists attacked them, leading to a gun battle, he added.

The gun battle took place around noon. Sundarraj told The Indian Express that the encounter is now over, but search and evacuation operations are under way.

Security forces gunned down at least four suspected Maoists during an encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district on March 26. The encounter took place during a search operation near Bimapuram area of Jagargunda village in Sukma district.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he spoke to BSF Director General Rajni Kant Mishra about Thursday’s encounter. The director general will be leaving for Chhattisgarh to help the families of the deceased soldiers and assess the ground situation, Singh said.

“Deeply anguished over the loss of BSF India personnel during an operation against the Naxals in Kanker,” Singh said on Twitter. “They fought valiantly before laying down their lives for the nation. My deepest condolences to the families of these martyrs and prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured.”