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Nine CRPF Men Killed as Naxals Blow up Armoured Vehicle in Chhattisgarh's Sukma District

Sources said the Naxal attack took place near Kistaram area of Chhattisgarh's Sukma district. The blast occurred when a team of Central Reserve Police Force's 212th battalion was patrolling in a forest in Kistaram area.

Updated:March 13, 2018, 4:22 PM IST
New Delhi: Nine CRPF personnel were killed on Tuesday after Naxals blew up their mine-protected vehicle in Chhattisgarh's Sukma, around a year after a dozen jawans were killed in a similar ambush in the district.

Officials said the incident took place around 12:30 PM along the Kistaram-Palodi road of the district when the troops of the 212th battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were out on an operation.

At least nine men have been killed, while two other jawans suffered injuries after the mine-protected vehicle was blown up by multiple improvised explosive devices (IEDs) concealed under the dirt track, a senior official said.

Home minister Rajnath Singh paid respects the jawans killed in the attack. "Today’s IED blast in Sukma, Chhattisgarh is deeply distressing. I bow to each and every security personnel who attained martyrdom while serving the nation," he tweeted.

The injured personnel are being airlifted to Raipur, they said. The rebels used a lot of explosives to blow up the vehicle, a state police official said.

Soon after the incident, reinforcements were rushed to the spot, around 500 kms from state capital Raipur, he said, adding further details were awaited.

Officials added that the first encounter between the two sides took place at 8 am and later this contingent was targeted by the Maoists.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the attack showed the deteriorating state of the internal security situation. “The Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh in which 9 CRPF jawans lost their lives is tragic. It reflects a deteriorating internal security situation due to flawed policies. My condolences to the families of those killed. To those who have been injured, I wish a speedy recovery,” he tweeted.

Twelve personnel of the force were killed on March 11 last year in the Bheji area of the district and their arms looted, when Naxals ambushed their patrol party.

A few days later on April 24, twenty-five personnel of the paramilitary were killed in a similar ambush in Sukma.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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