9 paramilitary men killed as Maoists blow up vehicle

Raipur: Nine personnel of the Central Police Reserve Force were killed on March 13 when Maoists blew up a mine protection vehicle in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

Ten CRPF personnel were also injured in the attack. Four of them are reportedly in critical condition.

Federal Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted the Maoist attack is “deeply distressing.”

I bow to each and every security personnel who attained martyrdom while serving the nation.

Around 8 am, an encounter started between the Cobra forces, specially trained forces to tackle Maoist insurgency, and Maoists in Kistaram area of Sukma, where an anti-Naxal operation was already going on.

“A CRPF patrolling party was on its way from Kistaram to Palodi, in an anti-landmine vehicle, which was targeted by Maoists,” said D M Awasthi, Special Director general, Anti-Naxal Operations.

More forces have reached the spot. The Director-General CRPF, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, has left for Chhattisgarh, report agencies.

The injured CRPF personnel have been evacuated in a helicopter to Raipur. Earlier in the day, Maoists had staged a similar attack but they fled after CRPF forces retaliated.

There has been a spurt in Maoist attacks this year. On February 18, two policemen and a civilian were killed in a gunfight with Maoists at Bhejji in Sukma.

Today’s attack comes almost 11 days after security personnel killed 10 alleged Naxalites in the state. It also comes six months after 25 CRPF jawans were killed in one of the deadliest attacks by Maoist rebels, or Naxalites. A year ago, 12 CRPF personnel of a road opening party were ambushed in Sukma.

As many as 300 Naxals were reportedly killed in separate encounters with security forces in Chhattisgarh in the past two years, Chhattisgarh Home Minister Ramsewak Paikra told the state Legislative Assembly in February.

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