D. Chandra Bhaskar Rao

Maoists target road-opening party including CRPF

KHAMMAM: Twelve men of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed and six others injured in an ambush laid by naxalites of CPI(Maoist) near Kongupalli on the Bijapur-Bhupalapatnam highway in Chhattisgarh around 2 p.m. on Monday. One extremist was also killed in retaliatory fire by the police.

The Maoists snatched away eight weapons including a light machine gun, SLR and five INSAS rifles. According to reports reaching here, heavy firing continued in the stretch of forest alongside National Highway 16 till late in the evening.

The Maoists triggered a blast targeting a road-opening party that included some 70 CRPF men who were deployed in the place for providing security the staff of the Border Roads Organisation monitoring the highway works.

The explosion left 12 CRPF men dead on the spot. The rest of the force engaged in a gun battle and reportedly shot dead one naxalite. The slain CRPF jawans belonged to the 170 battalion. They were identified as Sailendra Kumar Bharadwaj, Kamlesh Kumar, Pappu Kumar, Suman Singh, A. Kumar, M. Rehman, Niraj Sarma, Dhirendra Deka, Arun Kumar Singh, G.E., Surya. P. Oram and B.C. Setty.

Police intensified combing operations along the inter-State border of Andhra Pradesh and Chhatisgarh. The Khammam police put on alert all the police stations of Charla, Dummugudem Benkatapuram and Wajeedu – which are close to the Maoist-affected Pamedu area in Bijapura district of Chhatisgarh.