Nine killed as Maoists attack securitymen on poll duty in Jharkhand (Lead)

April 16th, 2009 - 12:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, April 16 (IANS) Seven Border Security Force (BSF) personnel going for polling duty were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoist rebels in Latehar district of Jharkhand early Thursday, police said. The driver and assistant of the bus in which they were travelling were also killed.
“Seven BSF personnel were killed in a landmine blast in a jungle near Aara village. Police officials have rushed there to assess the situation,” Sarvendu Thagat, Latehar district deputy police commissioner, told IANS on phone.

The driver and his assistant were also killed, Jharkhand police spokesman S.N. Pradhan told IANS here.

Maoist rebels detonated the landmine when the BSF personnel were travelling in a bus to a polling station near Aara village, about 140 km from here.

After the landmine blast, the guerrillas ambushed the BSF bus. A gunbattle followed between the rebels and security forces.

There were two more gunbattles going on between secrity forces and Maoists in Jharkhand, Pradhan added. One was in Khuti district and the other in Palamau. Polling had been disrupted in these areas.

The police spokesman said polling had been disrupted in seven other places in Palamau and Chatra districts as Maoists attacked the polling stations. In Khuti district, villagers had disrupted polling in one station.

On Monday, Maoist rebels had ambushed a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus in the same district, killing two security personnel and the bus driver. Five Maoist rebels were also killed in the ensuing gunbattle.

Polling began in six Lok Sabha seats of the state Thursday morning. It is scheduled in eight more seats April 23.

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