Hours after bodies of 17 security personnel which went missing in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh were found on Sunday, 22 March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “their valour will never be forgotten.”The bodies were found in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh on Sunday, the police said. “Strongly condemning” the incident, he said, “My tributes to the security personnel martyred in the attack.”Earlier, in a major joint offensive, separate teams of nearly 600 personnel belonging to the District Reserve Guard (DRG), Special Task Force (STF) and Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA)- an elite unit of CRPF, launched an anti-Naxal operation from three sides towards Elmagunda after getting inputs about a huge gathering of ultras there on Saturday.Two CAF Jawans Killed in Naxal Attack in Chhattisgarh“When the patrolling teams were near Minpa village forests, a group of around 250 heavily armed ultras ambushed them, leaving 15 personnel injured,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.“The gun battle lasted for about two-and-a-half hours,” he said.He continued, “Later, 17 personnel were found to be missing for which a search operation was launched. Today, their bodies have been recovered and the search team is on the way back.”‘Deeply Saddened’Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed his condolences as the bodies of 17 security personnel, were found on Sunday."I am hurt after hearing the news that 17 jawans were killed and 14 jawans were injured in a clash with Naxals in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. I express deep condolences toward the families of the martyrs and I pray that the injured will recover soon," Gandhi said on Twitter.Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and former CM Vasundhara Raje also expressed their condolences."Deeply saddened to know 17 security personnel have been martyred and many injured in a naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district. My heartfelt condolences to their family members. Pray that they find strength. Wish speed recovery to the injured," Gehlot tweeted.Sachin Pilot wrote on Twitter, "I salute the martyrdom of the brave sons martyred in the Naxal encounter in Sukma of Chhattisgarh. My deepest condolences for the families of the martyrs in this hour of grief. May God give peace to the departed souls and speedy recovery to the injured soldiers."Raje said it was very sad to hear the news of the death of the jawans in the Naxal encounter. "I pray to God for the peace of all the departed souls, speedy recovery of the injured soldiers and courage for the family members," she tweeted.(With inputs from PTI.) We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.