10 killed as Maoists trap police party in ambush (Third Lead)

August 20th, 2011 - 12:48 am ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Aug 19 (IANS) Nine policemen and a civilian were killed as Maoist rebels Friday ambushed a police party in a dense jungle in Chhattisgarh, India’s worst left-wing insurgency-affected state, blowing up a tractor in which the personnel were returning to camp and also firing at them, police said.

The state government is rushing reinforcements to the attack site in Bijapur district and trying to extricate wounded personnel.

“There is a massive attack on dozens of policemen in the jungles of Bijapur district. We are struggling to take reinforcements to the attack site since the area is heavily mined and densely forested,” Bijapur police chief, R.N. Das, told IANS over the phone.

The attack site, some 500 km south of Raipur, is in the restive Bastar region.

The attack took place in the evening when dozens of policemen were returning from a jungle terrain on foot and in a tractor. The vehicle was blown to smithereens in a blast.

A police officer based in Bijapur’s Bhopalpatnam area where the attack took place, said that the Maoists trapped policemen in “a well-planned and well-executed ambush”.

“The policemen were boxed-in from all sides by heavily armed militants,” the officer told IANS over phone.

Some of the policemen were carrying their rations in a tractor while a few of them who were unarmed and in plain clothes were returning from leave, he said.

“We are trying to get the exact situation as reinforcement is finding hard to reach to the site,” Additional Director General of Police (Maoist Operations) Ramnivas told reporters in Raipur.

“There were two encounters and our force handled the first one effectively but in the second battle they got ambushed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Raman Singh held an emergency meet here with the state police chief Anil Navaney and Chief Secretary P. Joy Oommen to discuss how to rush support to a few policemen reportedly critically injured in the ambush and who were lying in a pools of blood at the attack site.

Police officials estimated the number of attackers a little over a hundred.

Bijapur is among the five districts with Dantewada, Bastar, Narayanpur and Kanker that make up a roughly 40,000 sq km mineral-rich Bastar region where the outlawed Communist Party of India- Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has held sway in the interior ares since the late 1980s.

Officials here at police headquarters said Maoists had tried to carry out another attack at a relief camp based at Dornapal in Dantewada district too late Friday but the policemen who were guarding the camp repulsed the attack.

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