Police on Monday claimed to have gunned down 30 Naxals in a fierce encounter in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district after an ambush by the extremists left three policemen dead and nine others injured.

Additional Director General (Naxal operations) Ram Niwas said that a police team of 145 jawans was on a search operation in the Chintalnaar area, when the Naxal struck.

“In the ambush by the Naxals, three of our men were killed and nine were injured,” said Mr. Niwas.

He said that the police believe “to have killed 30 Naxals” in retaliatory action.

“Firing has stopped. We are now looking for bodies,” Mr. Niwas said.

Reinforcements were being sent to the area and the injured are being air-lifted, police.