Police killed at least 24 Maoist rebels in a remote, forested area of Odisha on Monday, police said, one of the heaviest casualty tolls suffered by the insurgents in recent years.

Acting on a tip-off, police tracked a group of around 30 Maoists who had gathered at a makeshift training camp close to the border with Andhra Pradesh state, officials said.

When the officers surprised the gathering shortly after midnight, a gun battle erupted.

“It was a makeshift training camp. Police have recovered 24 dead bodies of the Maoists during the search,” Mitrabhanu Mahapatra, the chief of police in Malkangiri district, where the ambush occurred, told Reuters.

One police officer was killed in the gunfight that followed and another wounded, said Rahul Dev Sharma, superintendent of police in neighbouring Visakhapatnam.

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Image courtesy of AFP