Maoist landmine blast kills five CRPF men in Chhattisgarh (Lead)

May 18th, 2011 - 12:49 am ICT by IANS  

Raipur, May 17 (IANS) At least five troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed Tuesday in a landmine blast in a forested stretch of Chhattisgarh’s violence-hit Dantewada district, police said.

The incident took place after 9 p.m. at on the national highway between Sukma and Dornapal, over 500 km south of Raipur.

“A powerful blast ripped apart a vehicle carrying seven jawans (troopers). Five men of the CRPF’s 2nd battalion killed on the spot while two others sustained serious injuries,” Dantewada police chief Ankit Garg told IANS.

He added that both the injured troopers were in a very serious condition and police were making arrangements to rush them to a hospital at Jagdalpur, headquarters of the Bastar region.

A local police officer said that a powerful blast hit the last vehicle of the three-vehicle convoy on its way to Sukma from Kerlapal.

“The vehicle was tossed up several feet in the air by the powerful blast. The Maoists managed to melt into the nearby forests after targeting the convoy,” a local police officer said.

Reinforcements have been rushed to the site.

Meanwhile, the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) Tuesday called for a 48-hour shutdown in seven states from May 21 to protest against the arrest of its three central committee members in Bihar.

In an unsigned statement sent to a few media outlets in Chhattisgarh, the outfit said it would enforce the shutdown in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, besides Chhattisgarh, in protest against arrest of its three senior leaders arrested last month in Bihar.

The rebels have sought unconditional and immediate release of its three leaders.

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