New Delhi : Nine CRPF personnel were martyred and 10 others injured today in a Maoist attack when their Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) blew up in the restive Sukma district of Chhattisgarh's Bastar division.
Four of the injured personnel are said to be in critical condition.
The attack took place in Kistaram when the personnel were out on a combing operation on the MPV. The team of CRPF jawans of thw 212 battalion was targeted by rebels who used heavy explosives to blow up the vehicle and had triggered several IEDs, police officials said confirming that nine personnel were killed in the blast.
"In an ongoing operation in Sukma District, an encounter took place with Naxals around 8 am on Tuesday. Seeing the response of 208 CoBRA naxals initially fled away," said CRPF spokesperson Moses Dinakaran.
" Again at about 12:30 pm Naxals targeted another team of 212 battalion CRPF in between Kistaram and Palodi in Sukma in which a Mine Protection Vehicle was blown of by triggering IED. As per information received 9 CRPF personnel attained martyrdom and 3 are injured. Injured personnel are being evacuated by helicopter to Raipur," he added.
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 slaughtered in one of the deadliest attacks by Maoist rebels, or Naxalites. Earlier last year in March, 12 CRPF personnel of a road opening party were ambushed in Sukma.
Still, security forces have had some success deaing with such attacks. As many as 300 Naxals were reportedly killed in separate encounters with security forces in Chhattisgarh in the last two years, said state home minister Ramsewak Paikra to the state Legislative Assembly last month.
Earlier this month, the CRPF for the first time set up three permanent camps in the Maoist hotbed of Abujhmadh forests in Chhattisgarh to launch 'surgical' operations against the ultras, a year after it lost 37 personnel in two ambushes, reported PTI.
The paramilitary force, along with contingents of the state police, has set up three bases in the dense and remote jungles of the 4,000 sq km region which essentially means 'abujh' (unknown) and 'madh' (hill).
Till now, the security forces used to undertake patrols inside the Abujhmadh jungle area in the Bastar region, camp there for few days and come back as they had no support system to stay in the jungle for long.
To make their presence felt in the area, the first camp, identified as 'P', has been established in close vicinity of the Indravati river.
Officials privy to the development said the strength of each camp was about 100 personnel.
The camps have been created as part of the 'Operation Madh' (Abujhmadh) being carried out by the CRPF and other security forces for the last few years to target Naxal cadres who hide or move in this area.