Sonia condoles death of jawans in C'garh ambush, says country united in resolve to combat naxalism

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New Delhi, Apr 4 (PTI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said all are united in the resolve to combat naxalism and her party's government in Chhattisgarh will continue to provide all assistance to the paramilitary forces in fighting the menace with full rigour.

In a statement, she said the entire country bows before the martyrdom of 22 jawans in a gruesome Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur.

'I pay homage to these jawans who have given their lives, and heartfelt condolences to their families. The nation owes an enormous debt of gratitude to them.

'I fervently hope for the return of our missing soldiers, and look forward to the complete recovery of those injured,' Gandhi said.

'We are united in our resolve to combat naxalism. The Chhattisgarh Congress government shall continue to provide all assistance to our central paramilitary forces in fighting naxalism with full rigour,' she added.

A group of around 400 Maoists, armed with light machine-guns (LMGs), ambushed security forces deployed on a special operation, killing at least 22 personnel and injuring 30 others, besides decamping with over a dozen sophisticated arms, officials said on Sunday.

The contingent of about 1,500 troops was drawn from the CRPF'S specialised jungle warfare unit CoBRA, its regular battalions, a unit of its Bastariya battalion, the Chhattisgarh Police-affiliated District Reserve Guard (DRG) and others. They had launched a search-and-destroy operation along the border of Bijapur and Sukma districts after they got inputs of Maoists' presence in the area. PTI SKC RC