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Landmine blast kills six CRPF troopers in Chhattisgarh


Raipur : Six personnel of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed Friday in a landmine explosion in Chhattisgarh’s Maoist stronghold of Bastar.

According to police, the incident took place in Narayanpur district’s Chheribera area, about 350 km from here, when the jeep in which the troopers were travelling in was blown up by a landmine explosion triggered by Maoist guerrillas.

“Four constables besides an inspector and a driver were killed instantly when a jeep ran over the landmine in forested Narayanpur,” Girdhari Nayak, who heads anti-Maoist operations in the state, told IANS.

The inspector has been identified as R.S. Kang.

The team was on its way to an area in the interiors for the opening of a road and Maoist guerrillas were lying in ambush at a turning point, he said. They triggered the blast as they saw the vehicle approaching.

Local officials said the insurgents escaped with the guns belonging to the troopers. About 250 men of the state police and CRPF have launched an operation in the area to apprehend the attackers, officials said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh, who was on a daylong visit to Chhattisgarh, appealed to the rebels to desist from violence. At a function at Durg town, he urged them to “draw a lesson from the Maoists in Nepal and shun violence as it never offered a solution”.

Narayanpur is one of the five districts in the state’s vast southern forested Bastar region, known as a Maoist hotbed since 1980. About 20,000 state and central government forces have been deployed in the region.