12 CRPF men killed after Maoists trigger blast, then fire on injured

Striking in a big way after the announcement of two-phase Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh next month, Maoist rebels ambushed a team of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel this afternoon, killing 12 and leaving six others wounded near a forest village between Modupal and Kompalli in Bijapur district.

The Maoists first triggered an explosion and then opened fire on the injured CRPF personnel. They escaped with weapons of the securitymen, including an Ak-47 assault rifle, two SLRs, a light machine gun and INSAS rifles, police said. Security forces have been rushed to the area to flush out the Maoists.

Bijapur SP Ankit Garg said the incident took place around 1.30 pm when CRPF men were patrolling the area, moving towards the Modupal base camp. They were attacked by large number of Maoists who first set off an explosion and then opened fire.

Police sources said three security personnel were killed in the blast while nine others were killed in the firing that followed. A Maoist was killed when the CRPF personnel returned fire. All the injured were taken to the district hospital in Bijapur from where they were being airlifted by helicopter to the government medical college hospital in Raipur.

Police sources identified the dead CRPF personnel as S K Bharadwaj, Kailash kumar, Pappu Kumar, Akhilesh Kumar, S Singh, Motiyar Rehman, Neeraj Sharma, Dijeendra Teka, Arun Singh, E E Surya, V O Ram and P C Sethi . Among the injured were Vikram Reddy and I Pawan Kumar.

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