Five security men die as Maoists strike in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, April 13: Chhattisgarh was hit by twin Maoist attacks on Monday when four policemen were killed and seven were left bloodied in a massive blast while a trooper was fatally shot by rebels who launched a brazen attack on a BSF camp — barely two days after seven policemen were gunned down by Maoists. Chhattisgarh has witnessed a string of Maoist attacks since April 11. The rebels had gunned down seven policemen in Sukma on Saturday and a day later they burnt down 11 vehicles in Kanker. On Monday, Maoists launched an audacious attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) camp in Kanker in which a trooper was killed. Just hours later, four policemen out on an area domition drive were killed when the rebels exploded a landmine in Dantewada.

All the attacks have been reported from the sprawling Bastar region which is made up of seven districts covering over 40,000 sq kms where the Maoists run a de facto government in the forested interiors. Maoists struck early Monday in Kanker district. Officials at police headquarters here said that a few insurgents tried to sneak into a BSF camp in the Chhotebetiya forests in Kanker district’s Pakhanjoor area. “The alert BSF jawans opened fire on rebels when they tried to storm the camp,” R.K. Vij, the state’s head of anti-xal operations, told IANS. He added that trooper R.P. Solanki was killed on the spot.

Vij said a rebel also died at the attack site and three IEDs of 20 kg each were recovered during the combing operation near the camp. A few hours later, four policemen were killed and seven injured when Maoists triggered a massive explosion in Dantewada district. Four Chhattisgarh Armed Forces (CAF) personnel were killed and seven wounded in the deafening blast that targeted their anti-landmine vehicle. The attack took place near Cholr camp of the CAF in Dantewada district, some 400 km south of state capital Raipur. “It’s a massive blast. I guess it could be about 50 kg IED (Improvised Explosive Device) used to trigger a blast near a bridge. The anti-landmine vehicle was shaken up by the blast and 4 CAF jawans succumbed to injuries,” Kamal Lochan Kashyap, superintendent of police, Dantewada, told reporters at the attack site.

The policemen were returning to the Cholr camp after an area domition drive. The injured policemen were rushed to the NMDC Ltd-owned hospital at Bacheli. Chhattisgarh’s BJP government was left stunned following the repeated high-intensity attacks and the opposition Congress has accused the BJP government of being a sitting duck. On Saturday, seven policemen of the Special Task Force (STF) were gunned down and 12 injured in Sukma district as Maoists orchestrated a bloodbath after a prolonged period of peace in the state. The Saturday attack took place in a forested patch of the district. Over 100 heavily armed insurgents encircled them from all directions in a difficult forested terrain and sprayed them with bullets. Security has been stepped up at police and para-military camps across the insurgency-hit Bastar where rebels hold sway in the interior areas since the late 1980s.  (IANS)

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