Nine CRPF jawans killed in ambush

Sukma, Mar 13: Nine Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed and two others critically injured on Tuesday when an anti-landmine vehicle was blown up in a powerful landmine blast by Naxalites in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-affected Sukma district. About 100 armed extremists were said to have carried out the attack at around 1000 hrs when they set off an Improvised Explosive Device blast and opened indiscriminate fire on a road opening party of CRPF in the forested Pallodi village under Kistaram police station area. The CRPF team was on a search operation. Chief Minister Raman Singh said it was an act of cowardice on the part of the Naxalites who had become frustrated due to developmental works in the tribal-dominated Sukma district. Bodies of all the nine martyrs, who included one Assistant Sub-Inspector, one head constable and seven constables of the 212th battalion of CRPF, had been recovered. Injured constables–Madan Kumar and Rajesh Kumar–had been airlifted to Jagdalpur for treatment, Special Director General (Naxal Operation) DM Awasthi told reporters at Raipur. All the victims were travelling in the anti-landmine vehicle when the Naxals triggered the IED blast, he added. Mr Awasthi said although the Intelligence Bureau had sounded an alert in the Bastar region, there was no security lapse on the part of the road opening party of the CRPF. In another encounter, one Naxal was gunned down by CRPF personnel in Bijapur district on Tuesday, he added. Top police officials had, meanwhile, reached the spot of the ambush–which was only 3 km away from the CRPF’s Pallodi camp–and a massive joint search and combing operation was underway in the area by security forces. According to reports, the rebels looted arms and ammunition of the security force after the ambush. (UNI)