Four personnel of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed on the spot and three injured in a landmine blast by Maoists in Koraput district of south Odisha on Tuesday morning.

According to police, the blast occurred on NH 26 at a culvert between Sakirai and Kauguntha villages near Ralegada of Sunki ghat under Pottangi police station limits around 9 a.m.

The BSF personnel were on leave and on their way in three vehicles to Visakhapatnam from Balimela area of Malkangiri district to board trains. Each vehicle was carrying seven BSF personnel. A man, who escaped unhurt, said their vehicles were first fired at by ultras hiding on a nearby hill. The BSF personnel fired back. However, their third vehicle was blasted while crossing the culvert.

The vehicle was thrown off the road and was destroyed. Two of the injured were in a serious condition and they were being shifted to Visakhapatnam for treatment. The other injured was being shifted to a Koraput hospital.

Koraput Superintendent of Police Avinash Kumar rushed to the spot with extra force, who were also fired at by the Maoists. Mr. Kumar narrowly escaped a bullet.