Maoists kill five security men in Chhattisgarh (Second Lead)

August 29th, 2010 - 3:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Aug 29 (IANS) Five security personnel were killed by Maoists Sunday as the rebels ambushed a patrolling team, leading to a gunfight in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar region, police said.
“Maoists ambushed a police patrolling party drawn from the Border Security Force (BSF), District Force (DF) and Special Police Officers (SPOs) in a thickly-forested area,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) T.J. Longkumer told IANS over phone from Jagdalpur, headquarters of Bastar region.

He said the gun battle took place in Bhuski village in Kanker district, 250 km from capital Raipur, when Maoists ambushed the troopers.

“It was a major ambush but our jawans fought bravely and fiercely…Maoists were in large numbers and estimated to be over 100,” Longkumer said.

Chhattisgarh Director General of Police Vishwa Ranjan said that those killed were three BSF men, including a head constable and two constables, one belonging to the DF and an SPO.

He added that a chopper was sent to the attack site for rescue operations and evacuating an injured trooper. Police claimed that some Maoists were also killed in the gunfight but none of their bodies were recovered.

The attack took place just a few hours before state Forest Minister Vikram Usendi was scheduled to visit the area. The minister, who belongs to Kanker district, called off his trip after the attack.

Chhattisgarh has been the epicentre of Maoist violence in recent years. The Bastar region, spread across about 40,000 sq km area and comprising Dantewada, Bijapur, Narayanpur, Bastar and Kanker districts, is considered the nerve centre of Maoist militants in India.

Officials at the police headquarters here said that the state has witnessed 1,948 Maoist attacks in the past three years. A total of 418 civilians and 435 policemen, including 75 SPOs, have been killed in Maoist violence.

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