In one of their deadliest attacks since the government named CPI-Maoist as a terror outfit last month, Leftwing ultras killed at least 23 policemen in an ambush in a forested stretch of Chhattisgarh Sunday.
"A contingent of the District Force (DF) and Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) drove into a booby trap laid by Maoists in a thickly forested area in Rajnandgaon district, in which 23 jawans were killed," Girdhari Nayak, additional director general of police, told.
Rajnandgaon District Superintendent of Police Binod Kumar Choubey was among the injured. While the officials refused to comment on his condition, a top official on condition of anonymity said he was killed and a formal confirmation was awaited.
This would be the first time in an over three-decade-old Maoist militancy in Chhattisgarh that an official of the superintendent of police rank was killed by the radical Leftists.
The attack took place in the Manpur belt, some 200 km from here, in the district bordering Maharashtra.
Insurgents had killed two DF personnel in a separate incident in the same area this morning.
All top officials, including Chhattisgarh police chief Vishwaranjan, rushed to the site of the attack. The strike has shaken up the police force in the state which has been battling Maoist insurgency since the 1980s.
Chief Minister Raman Singh cancelled his trip to Nagpur scheduled for Sunday afternoon and asked the home department to send choppers to rescue the injured policemen.
July 12th, 2009 IANS
CRPF rushes 600 personnel for combing ops in Rajnandgaon
The CRPF on Sunday rushed 600 of its men to the ambush site in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh where 26 security personnel, including a top police officer, were killed in a twin attack by Maoists.
The troops, belonging to Rajnandgaon-based 188th battalion of the force and equipped with mine detection kits and rescue equipment, were rushed to the spot to start combing operations against the banned Maoists militants.
"A battalion strength (around 1,000 men) of the force is being sent to the spot for starting combing operations and sanitizing the area. Six companies (comprising 600 men) have been sent initially," a senior CRPF officer said.
Twenty-six police personnel, including Superintendent of Police V K Choubey, were killed when Maoists ambushed a team, led by the slain officer, while it was en route to a police camp at Madanpara where the militants had killed two security men this morning.
The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Madanpara police station area, near the ambush site, was also killed in the attack, official sources said.
Additional reinforcements and communication equipment will also be sent as the CRPF troops will set up a temporary camp there, sources added.
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