Rebels attack forces in Bihar

A Central Reserve Police Force jawan was killed and 10 security personnel were injured in an encounter with Maoists in Balthar forests of Bihar's Gaya district on Sunday.

CRPF DIG Umesh Kumar told PTI that paramilitary jawan Sachindra Sharma was killed and 10 security personnel, including eight jawans of the force and two policemen, were injured in the gun-battle.

Six injured CRPF jawans were undergoing treatment at a primary health centre at Imamganj, while another CRPF jawan Raju Toppo was air-lifted from Gaya to Patna for treatment at the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH).

Another unidentified jawan has been admitted to a hospital at Gaya, he said.

Additional Superintendent of Police Shambhu Prasad and an unidentified Special Task Force (STF) constable were injured in the encounter, Mr. Kumar said, adding that the gun-battle was on till late afternoon.

The encounter took place during the joint combing operation launched in the forests by the CRPF's CoBRA battalion, STF and Gaya police based on a tip-off about the assembling of a large number of rebels, he said.

The Maoists opened fire and triggered several land mine blasts to deter the advancing security forces who retaliated by firing on the rebels. The encounter began at 6 a.m.

Gaya Superintendent of Police rushed to the spot with reinforcements to assist the forces as Inspector General of Police (IG), Operations, Amit Kumar too went there from Patna to monitor the situation, Mr. Umesh Kumar said.

Aerial support

Helicopters were pressed into service to give aerial support to the security personnel, the CRPF DIG said. There was no confirmation of casualties or injuries on the Maoist front, police said.

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