Victims were going in an ambulance to hospital

Five persons, including two women and a girl child who were travelling in an ambulance, were killed in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists near Brahmanigaon in Kandhamal district of south Orissa on Saturday night.

The victims included a pregnant woman, an Asha volunteer (who provides health services in villages) and a three-year-old child. The driver and another person were the other victims. The vehicle was going to the MKCG Medical College Hospital in Berhampur from the Gadapur Primary Health Centre.

The deceased were from Sikarma village near Brahmanigaon.

The landmine was planted near a culvert around two km from Brahmanigaon near Dukulpadu. Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Southern Range) R.K. Sharma told The Hindu that the blast created a large ditch. The ambulance was ripped open and thrown about 40 feet away. Two mutilated corpses were located 500 feet away from the blast spot.

Patrolling intensified

Mr. Sharma said patrolling and combing operations were intensified in the area. Maoists executed the attack to create a reign of terror.

On Thursday night, Maoists shot dead a contractor in the Brahmanigaon market.

Six arrested

Six persons, suspected to be having links with Maoists, were arrested from the Daringbadi area after the killing.