May 11, 2009 4:22:46 pm
Continuing the recent spate of Naxal violence,Maoist rebels unleashed yet another attack on security forces late on Sunday night,killing twelve security personnel and injuring seven others near Madapoti village in Mandagiri hill ranges in Dhamtari district in Chhattisgarh. Eight others are reportedly missing.
“The incident took place in the dense forests close to tribal Kanker district of Bastar region. There are conflicting reports about the total number of causalities. Security personnel have already launched a search in the area to trace the missing police personnel”,a top police official told The Indian Express.
According to Police sources,a team of 40 security personnel,belonging to Kanker police,were returning in three vehicles on Sunday night when the Maoists ambushed them between Risgaon and Madapoti village in Dhamtari district. A state helicopter was pressed into service to airlift the injured security personnel to a hospital in the state capital.
“The causalities could be more and further details could be known only after the search teams return in the evening”,the official said adding that security personnel will have to trek the forests on foot in wake of the possibility of landmine attacks. Preliminary reports suggest that Naxalites opened indiscriminate fire at the security personnel after targeting the vehicle,in which security forces were traveling,leading to an encounter.
This Naxal attack– the first of its kind in Dhamtari district — assumes significance as it indicates the extent of spread of Naxalite activities deep into the district,which is situated about 90 Kilometres away from the state capital.
Though there have been reports about Naxalite presence in Nagari Sihawa region of Dhamtari district and Mainpur-Devbhog areas of Raipur district,the rebels used these areas as a safe haven withreports of no major Naxal activity.
Maoists stepped up violence in Bastar region and the Rajnandgaon district ever since the by and large peaceful polling for the November 2008 Assembly polls and the Lok Sabha polls in April.
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