Raipur: A gunbattle broke out in Chhattisgarh`s restive Bastar region Monday morning after Maoists opened fire at a police station in Dantewada district, the fourth attack since June 9.
As many as 18 policemen have been killed in three separate Maoists attacks since June 9.
The gunbattle began when armed rebels fired several shots at a police station based at Bhejji village, some 500 km south of capital Raipur, and the policemen retaliated.
The Bhejji Police Station complex also has a camp of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) battalion that was attacked by Maoists Saturday in which three troopers were killed and three others injured.
"The gunbattle has been on since 9 a.m. We have responded very strongly but can`t say what is the exact situation there," sources here at the police headquarters told reporters around 11 a.m.
Maoists had carried out double attacks in the Bastar region June 9. Five policemen were gunned down in Narayanpur district June 9 morning. They struck again, killing 10 policemen around midnight in Dantewada.
Maoist attacks in the state have surged in the past weeks as rebels killed nine policemen in an ambush May 23 on the Chhattisgarh-Orissa border along Raipur district.