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Naxals kill 15 CRPF personnel in Maharashtra
Shiv Kumar/TNS

Mumbai, March 27
A landmine blast triggered by suspected Naxalites killed at least 15 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) this afternoon, said state police officials. The attack took place when the bus in which personnel of the 192nd battalion of the CRPF were travelling to an area called Karwafa Fulbodi Gatta hit the land mine planted on the road, police said. The area is around 45 kms from the Gadchiroli district headquarters.

CRPF chief K. Vijay Kumar who was in Gadchiroli area today left for the attack site, officials said.

According to information available in Nagpur the death toll could be higher as there were a large number of personnel in the vehicle.

Reinforcements have been sent to pick up the dead and injured, officials said. Shortly after the message of the attack was received, the anti-Naxalite commandos began a combing operation, officials said here.

A number of seriously injured jawans were being airlifted to Nagpur, officials said.

"I am gathering information and will make a statement in the Maharashtra Assembly”, Home Minister R R Patil told in Mumbai. 

The Maoist violence has seen an upsurge in the recent years. According to an RTI reply, Naxal violence has claimed the lives of a total of 10,268 people, including security personnel, between 2005 and May 2010.

As many as 2,372 deaths were reported in 2009 as against 1,769 in 2008, 1,737 in 2007, 1,999 in 2006 and 1,952 others in 2005. 439 people were killed between January and May 2010, it said.

As many as 83 districts in nine states -- Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal -- have been identified as Naxal-hit, the RTI reply said.

In a major Naxal attack, 76 security personnel were killed in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on April 6, 2010.

A CRPF jawan was killed and another injured in an encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district yesterday. a(With PTI inputs)





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