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Vikash Sharma

At least two jawans sustained multiple injuries during an exchange of fire with Maoists ultras on the Boudh-Kandhamal border, senior officials said on Saturday.

The gun battle is still on at the time of going to the press. Both the Commandos from the Special Operation Group (SOG) who received critically injuries have been airlifted to Bhubaneswar by the State Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay who was on a visit to the neighbouring Koraput district.

As per reports, the fierce encounter broke out between the security personnel and Maoists ultras during a combing operation which conducted by the jawans under Gochapada police limits of Kandhamal district on Saturday morning.

Senior officials said that exchange of fire is still continuing and more details are awaited.

The combing operation was launched by a joint team of security forces based on information about the presence and movement of a Maoist group in the region.

It is suspected that some heavily armed top Maoist rebel leaders and cadres were part of the ultra group because of which the intensity of firing was heavy on the security forces. Reports said that heavy ammo was used by the ultras in the encounter.

With the help of CRPF jawans, both the Commandos were rescued and brought to safety from the operational area.

As per preliminary reports, both the injured jawans have been airlifted by Odisha DGP Abhay who was on a visit to the undivided Koraput district. The top cop was scheduled to visit Malkangiri and Koraput districts to review anti-LWE situation in the region. 

However, he rushed to the troubled spot soon after getting information about the incident. The top cop reportedly changed the travel route in view of the incident. Thoug one IAF Helicopter was also requisitioned but it could not make it to Padelpada due to incleament weather en route. 

“The operation was launched by SOG in Kandhamal district today. Two jawans have been injured and both of them have been airlifted to Bhubaneswar. I thank BSF pilot for assisting in the rescue operation and landing the chopper in a small area, CRPF for sending reinforcement and the doctor from Kantamal area, ” said Abhay.

According to Abhay, the ongoing combing operation in the region has been intensified.

Meanwhile, both the injured jawans have been admitted to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar and the condition of one of them is critical. AIIMS officials said that a special team of doctors from various departments has been constituted for the treatment of the injured. 

(This is a developing story. Refresh for more updates)

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