At least 29 Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh's Kanker district on Tuesday, police officials said.

Three security personnel suffered injuries in the fierce gun-battle and a large quantity of weapons was also recovered from the spot, they said.

The gunfight took place at around 2 pm in Hapatola forest between Binagunda and Koronar villages under Chhotebethiya police station limits, when a joint team of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the state police's District Reserve Guard (DRG) was out on an anti-Naxal operation, Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) Sundarraj P said.

The operation was launched based on inputs about the presence of senior cadres of north Bastar division of the outlawed CPI (Maoist) Shankar, Lalita, Raju and others, he said.

During patrolling in the area, a fierce gun-battle broke out between the two sides, the senior IPS officer said.

"Bodies of 29 Maoists along with a huge cache of weapons, including AK-47, SLR, Insas and .303 rifles, were recovered from the spot," the IG said.

Polling in the Naxalite-hit Bastar Lok Sabha seat will take place on April 19 in the first phase, while the Kanker constituency, part of the Bastar region, will vote in the second round of general elections on April 26.

The search operation was still underway in the area amid intermittent firing between security personnel and Naxalites, said Sundarraj.

"Three security personnel sustained injuries in the gunfight and their condition was stated to be out of danger," he said, adding they were referred to hospital for treatment.

After the latest encounter, 79 Naxalites have been killed in separate gun-battles with security forces in the Bastar region, comprising seven districts, including Kanker, so far this year.

On April 2, as many as 13 Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bijapur district.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by staff)