Chattisgarh: Maoists kill 12 CRPF officials in Sukma, loot weapons, radio sets

"Troops of A/E 219 battalion were on a road opening duty and providing security for road construction in the area when they were ambushed. The ambush was followed up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. Though the area was plain, it was surrounded by thick vegetation. The force took casualties but retaliated,” a CRPF official said in New Delhi.

In one of the worst blood baths of recent times, 12 CRPF officials were killed during an ambush in the naxal ingested Sukma district in Chattisgarh.

The attack took place at around 9.00 am today morning near Kotacheru in Sukma, one of the worst-Maoist affected districts in the country.

The Maoists also looted 10 weapons, LMG, AK 47 and Insas rifles from the dead personnel.

"Troops of A/E 219 battalion were on a road opening duty and providing security for road construction in the area when they were ambushed. The ambush was followed up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack. Though the area was plain, it was surrounded by thick vegetation. The force took casualties but retaliated,” a CRPF official said in New Delhi. The battalion had been deployed in anti-insurgency operation since 2012.

THE SOLDIERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES

Among the 12 martyred were one inspector and two assistant sub-inspectors. Five troopers were injured in the attack while two were stated to be critical.

The injured were airlifted to Raipur and admitted to a government hospital, the official added.

Two Maoists were also killed in the counter attack by the security forces, said a CRPF officer.

Besides weapons, the Maoists also looted two VHF radio sets that the CRPF team was carrying. The CRPF party consisted of 112 personnel.

“Since the attack site is an interior area, the only way of communication is through a satellite phone,” said the CRPF official.

While a reinforcement of 208 Cobra Battalion was rushed in, a massive operation underway to hunt the maoists. However, the soldiers could only make minor recoveries of what was left behind at scene of ambush including explosives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the families of CRPF personnel.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Centre was in direct communication with the state government. He said that those who perpetrated the incident will be brought to justice.

Both Home Minister and CRPF DG attended the wreath laying of the soldiers.