Maoists kill five CRPF troopers in Jharkhand

April 11th, 2009 - 7:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Ranchi, April 11 (IANS) Five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers were killed and three injured Saturday in an eight-hour-long gunbattle with Maoist rebels in Jharkhand’s Khuti district, around 20 km from where Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressed an election rally.
“Five CRPF personnel were killed and three were injured in an ambush by Maoist rebels in Khuti district,” Jharkhand Police spokesperson S.N. Pradhan told IANS.

According to police, the gunbattle erupted Saturday morning at Musanga Jorpa jungle, around 70 km from Ranchi and ended at around noon. Sonia Gandhi addressed a rally around 20 km away at noon.

According to the police, paramilitary forces were patrolling the areas ahead of Gandhi’s arrival when they came upon a group of Maoist rebels in the jungle. They asked the rebels to surrender, but the ultras retaliated and a fierce gunbattle ensued.

Maoists are active in 18 of Jharkhand’s 24 districts. About 1,450 people have been killed in Maoist-related violence in the last eight years. Two-phased Lok Sabha elections will be held in Jharkhand April 16 and 23.

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