Maoists kill 15 security personnel, one civilian in ambush in Chhattisgarh

Maoists kill 15 security personnel, one civilian in ambush in Chhattisgarh

NetIndian News Network

Raipur, March 11, 2014

At least 15 security personnel -- 11 men of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and five local policemen -- and a civilian were killed in an ambush by suspected Maoists in Sukma district of southern Chhattisgarh today.
State Chief Minister Raman Singh told newspersons in Delhi, where he was on a visit, that some other security personnel were injured in the attack, three of whom were shifted by a helicopter to a Raipur hospital.
He said Maoists had staged a similar attack ahead of last year's Assembly elections in the state, and they had resorted to another "cowardly" attack today, just weeks before the Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Raman Singh, who is rushing back to Raipur, said he would take stock of the situation with senior officials this evening. Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Secetary (Home) and the Director General of Police had rushed to the spot, he said.
Earlier reports had put the death toll in the attack at 20.
Official sources said the joint team of CRPF and local policemen were escorting a road construction party when they were ambushed at a spot between Jhiram Ghati in Bastar and Tongpal in Sukma, about 400 km south of Raipur, around 10 am today.
They said about 200 Maoists were involved in the ambush and they had not only completely outnmbered the 44 security personnel, but were also at an advantage because of the topography.
Today's ambush took place about 10 km from the spot where Maoists had, on May 25 last year, attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in Sukma district, in which 28 peole were killed and about 30 others suffered injuries.
Those killed in that incident included state Congress chief Nandkumar Patel, senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, who had launched the Salwa Judum movement against Naxalites and Congress MLA Uday Mudaliar. Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, who was among those who suffered injuries in the incident, succumbed to his injuries later.
Officials said the encounter that followed today's ambush lasted about half an hour. The Maoists managed to escape with weapons from the security personnel, they said.
Senior police officials have left for the scene in a helicopter.
In Delhi, senior officials said there were contradictory reports about the casualty figures and they were reconciling them.

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