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7 cops die in Bastar blast by Maoists

Raipur, January 16
Seven security personnel, including a CRPF Assistant Commandant and a police Assistant Sub-Inspector, were killed today in landmine blasts triggered by Maoists in the Bastar region, the police said.

“Seven policemen were killed and some others were injured when Maoists triggered directional mines on a police party,” Bastar range Inspector-General of Police R. K. Vij told PTI by phone.

The incident occurred after 5 pm when a police party of 30 jawans and officers was on a combing operation on motor cycles and on foot in Jharghati jungle, about 23 km from the district headquarters and 350 km from the state capital, Vij said.

Among the killed were the CRPF Assistant Commandant Vikas Chandra and constable J N Chetia of 43 batallion of the central force, CRPF sources said.

Policemen from the Narayanpur district force were killed in the mines blasts. At least five policemen were also injured in the blasts, sources from Bastar said. “Besides injuring five policemen, the Naxalites also looted the weapons of the killed security personnel,” the sources said.

The CRPF sources said the place of incident had a Naxalite dominance, where on many occasions the security forces and Maoists had exchanged fire. Recently, four Naxalites were killed there.

“Police sources had informed them that a senior Naxal commander might visit the area to pay tributes to the Naxalites killed last week in an encounter with police,” the sources said. — PTI

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