18 held in anti-naxal operation in Orissa

Personnel from both forces are  surrounding the forests in a bid to prevent the Naxalites from fleeing the area. Sources in the home department here said the forces managed to capture 18 people during the joint operation.

It is, however, not yet clear whether they are Maoist cadres or their sympathisers.
“The 18 people who have been detained are currently being interrogated,” a home department official said.

The forces have not been able to recover any bodies so far. The Orissa police on Sunday claimed that the 12-hour long gun battle between the Maoists and the security personnel had resulted in heavy casualties among the red rebel cadres. The claim was based on blood stains found in the area as well as marks that suggested that bodies were dragged from the spot of the battle. Some local villagers had also reportedly seen Maoist cadres fleeing from the area of the gun battle carrying bodies of their colleagues. Meanwhile, the state home department has issued an alert in all the Naxal-infested districts in south, north as well as western region of the state following intelligence report that the Maoists may trigger a major attack in retaliation to the joint operation in Koraput district.

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