Three CRPF personnel were killed in a Maoist attack in Odisha's Nuapada district on Tuesday, police said.
The incident happened around 2.30 pm in Patadhara Reserve Forest near Sahajpani village in Bheden block, they said.
"Unfortunately, three jawans have attended martyrdom in Nuapada. Our senior officers are on the way to the site," Odisha's Director-General of Police SK Bansal told PTI in the evening.
The troops were attacked when they were engaged in a road opening and clearing operation, officials said.
It is suspected that the Maoists had prior information regarding the movement of the forces, they said.
The Maoists attacked the troops using improvised or crudely-made barrel grenade launchers (BGLs), they said.
"The troops retaliated forcing the Maoists to flee," a CRPF spokesperson said in New Delhi.
According to a preliminary report, seven jawans were on the move when the incident took place, officials said in Bhubaneswar said.
The deceased were identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Shishu Pal Singh, a native of UP, ASI Shiv Lal who hailed from Haryana, and Constable Dharmendra Kumar Singh, a native of Bihar. They were with the 19th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Combing operations have been intensified in the area, and more teams of the Special Operations Group (SOG) and CRPF were at the site, officials said.
The operations would continue till the Maoists are flushed out, the DGP said, expressing deep condolences to the bereaved families.
The supreme sacrifice of the personnel would not go in vain, he said.
The CRPF recently said that some of its forward operation bases in Chhattisgarh were attacked in the last six months using 100-150 explosives-filled devices. These rocket-shaped crude devices have been named BGL by the force as they have an iron casing and fins at the tail.