At least 12 Naxalites were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district on Friday, Chief Minister Vishnu Deo Sai said.

The gunfight took place in the forest near Pidia village under Gangaloor police station limits when a team of security personnel was out on an anti-Naxal operation, police had said earlier.

"The exchange of fire in Gangaloor area has ended. Our security forces have achieved a major success as the bodies of 12 Naxalites have been recovered so far," the chief minister told reporters.

He congratulated the security forces and senior officials for the operation.

This is the third major blow to the Naxalites in Chhattisgarh in the last one month. On April 16, at least 29 Naxalites were killed in an encounter in Kanker district, while ten Naxalites were killed in another encounter with the security forces along the border of Narayanpur and Kanker districts on April 30.

As many as 103 Naxalites have been killed so far this year in separate encounters in the state's Bastar region.

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