Maoist landmine blast kills 12 cops in Chhattisgarh (Second Lead)

June 21st, 2009 - 3:14 am ICT by IANS  

Raipur, June 20 (IANS) As many as twelve troopers were killed and 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 over 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, seven policemen were killed on the spot, four declared brought dead at Maharani Hospital in Jagdalpur town (headquarters of Bastar district) and one more succumbed to injuries midnight at the hospital where 11 CRPF men were rushed in a critical condition,” T. J. Longkumer, inspector general of police (Bastar Range), told IANS.

He said the death toll may go up as the attack site is heavily forested and reinforcement would take time to reach there.

“We have rushed extra police force to the attack site but operation against Maoist and search for several missing cops would be possible only Sunday morning,” Longkumer said.

But a police officer in Sukma, the nearest town from the attack site, told IANS over telephone: “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.”

The officer claimed 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 under the Prime Minister Rural Road Scheme, were torched.

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