Naxals strike at 13 places, death toll goes up to 16

April 16th, 2009 - 5:30 pm ICT by ANI  

Ranchi, Bhubaneshwar/Patna/ Raipur/Mumbai, Apr 16 (ANI): A further three Naxal-related attacks have surfaced in five states - Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra, adding to the ten already reported earlier in the day.

News reports said Naxals had exploded a landmine in Jamui District, attacked polling booths in Rajanandgaon District in Maharashtra in which five persons have died and were engaged in an encounter with paramilitaries in the Koriari Forests of Bihar. All of these attacks disrupted the first phase of the five-phased general elections on Thursday.

At least 16 people were killed, including nine security personnel and two civilians in Jharkhand and Bihar.

According to M L Kumawat, Director General, Border Security Force (BSF) Thursday’s was the most violent series of attacks by the rebels.

The first attack took place in Jharkhand’s Latehar District, in which nine people including seven BSF personnel were killed.

According to police, the Maoists detonated a landmine under a bus that was ferrying BSF personnel to a polling station near Aara village, about 140 km from Ranch. Later, the Maoists ambushed the BSF bus.

The driver of the vehicle and the attendant, too, were killed in the attack and seven others including polling staff and security personnel are reportedly injured.

According to reports, four poll officers have been kidnapped in Latehar.

In another strike, two home guards were killed when Naxals attacked a police patrol party in Bihar’s Gaya district. Six people, including two women were injured in the attack.

The attackers also looted four police rifles and Electronic Voting Machines.

In Chhattisgarh, the Naxals attacked polling booths in Bijapur and Dantewada districts. Two polling parties were forced to return from Jagampal village in Bijapur District.

In South Bastar, the Naxals targeted Central Reserve Police Force (CPRF) personnel deployed in Dantewada.

According to reports, blasts also took place at polling booths in Gotabanur and Narayanpur.Voting will end in Bastar and Kanker seats by 3:00 p.m., while polling stations in the other nine seats will close at 4:00 p.m.

In Orissa, Maoists attacked three polling booths in Andrahill village and set fire to voting machines and a vehicle in Malkangiri district.

In Maharashtra, a police base camp was attacked at Binagundha in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli District.

The Maoists have called for a complete boycott of the polls in the state. (ANI)

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