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Naxalites struck in a stunning fashion and killed nine jawans of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Chhattisgarh’s restive Sukma district by detonating serial blasts that tossed the anti-landmine vehicle several feet in air before splitting into pieces. The blast injured six CRPF personnel.
The incident took place near Gollapalli on Kistaaram-Palodi road in Sukma district - about 500 km south of state capital. The incident took place today morning when CRPF jawans from the 212 battalion deployed in the area were returning to Palodi camp after an operation.
About 11 jawans boarded the MPV (mine protected vehicle) while remaining were on foot and bikes when rebels ambushed the party at around 8 am. The Naxalites detonated three powerful improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that blew up the vehicle that tossed several feet in air before landing into pieces, inflicting major casualty on persons on board.
“Nine jawans on board the vehicle died in the incident while two sustained critical injuries,” Special Director General of Police (anti-naxal operations) Durgesh Madhav Awasthy said. He doubts about 50 kilograms of powerful explosive was used seeing the impact of the blast on the mine protected vehicle.
Apart from the human casualty, the biggest shock for the administration was the damage caused to the anti-landmine vehicle, considered a key weapon in the fight against Naxalites. The government had procured such vehicles from the Centre for anti-Naxal operations.
The rebels taking cover in the area opened fire on the jawans. Police suspect about 150 Naxalites in the combat fatigue were present in the site. A senior police official from Bastar said the security personnel retaliated well and using fire and move tactics broke off from the Naxal ambush.
The officer said the force fired from Underbarrel Grenade Launchers but three of it did not explode, failing to inflict major casualty on rebels. An intercepted message revealed that Naxals lost one of their comrades and 5 were critically injured.