Two suspected Maoists were killed in a gunfight with security forces late on Friday night in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, PTI reported, quoting police. The two suspects had cash rewards of Rs 5 lakh each for their heads.

Security has been beefed up in the area ahead of a bye-election for the Dantewada Assembly constituency on September 23. The sitting MLA, Bhima Mandavi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was killed in a Maoist attack in April.

The gunfight took place around 11.30 pm when a joint team of the District Reserve Guard and the local police was on an anti-Maoist operation, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava told the news agency. The site of the encounter was in a forest near Kutrem village.

The two Maoists were identified as Lachu Mandavi and Podiya, police said. A pistol and a rifle were also recovered from them.

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