Five troopers die as CRPF truck hits Maoist landmine (Lead)

June 21st, 2009 - 12:15 am ICT by IANS  

Raipur, June 20 (IANS) Five paramilitary troopers were killed and at least 11 injured Saturday evening when the truck in which they were travelling hit a landmine planted by suspected Maoist guerrillas in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region, a police officer said.
The blast occurred in a thickly forested stretch of Tongapal in Dantewada district, some 500 km south of here, when an 40-member search squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) men and District Force (DF) was on its way back to its base camp.

“Maoists blasted a truck crowded with CRPF and DF and at least five were killed and 11 CRPF men injured,” Chhattisgarh police chief Vishwaranjan told IANS.

He feared the casualty figure may go up as the attack site is heavily forested and reinforcement would take time to reach there.

The injured troopers were rushed to Maharani Hospital at Jagdalpur, headquarters of Bastar district.

“It was a meticulously planned attack as the rebels Saturday morning set a few trucks of a private contractor on fire in Tongapal which was a well thought plan to drive the security personnel to the red zone,” a police officer in Sukma, the nearest town from the attack site, told IANS by phone.

The officer said the CRPF men overlooked security advice and boarded a private truck on way back after visiting Tongapal village where a few trucks engaged in road construction work were torched.

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