20 policemen hurt, several missing after Maoist attack (Lead)

June 29th, 2008 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, June 29 (IANS) At least 20 policemen were injured and about 30 were missing after Maoist guerrillas open fired on them Sunday in Orissa’s Malkangiri district, police said. As many as 64 policemen, more than half of them from the anti-Maoist Greyhound Police of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, were crossing a reservoir in a motorboat when the rebels opened fired on them from a nearby hill, a senior district police official told IANS.

The motorboat capsized, injuring at least 20 policemen.

Ten of them were critical and were moved to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh in a defence helicopter, said the official who was camping in the area. Others were taken to a local government hospital, he said.

Some of the policemen swam ashore and some were rescued, but nearly 30 policemen, including two of Orissa, were still missing, he said.

“All of them know swimming and are well-trained,” the state’s Director General of Police Gopal Chandra Nanda told IANS. “Nobody is reported dead, we are hopeful all will return safe,” he said.

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