5 jawans killed in Maoist ambush

Maoists hit security forces at two places in Bastar — killing five jawans in an ambush in Abujmad and injuring two in an IED blast in Bijapur. Eight jawans are critically injured.

This is the biggest attack on security personnel since the back-to-back ambushes in Sukma in March and April last year in which 37 CRPF personnel were killed.

Special DGP (anti-Naxal operations) D M Awasthi said two sub-inspectors and three constables were killed when a joint team of Special Task Force and District Reserve Guards was out on anti-Naxalite operations in the forests of Irpanar in Abujmad region of Narayanpur district.

Of late, security forces have been moving deeper into Abujmad, the last remaining stronghold of the Maoists. On Wednesday, over 60 jawans were out on an operation when they were ambushed by the Maoist 6 Company around 11 am. The forces retaliated and a four hour-long encounter ensued. All the slain personnel are from DRG.

SIs Vinod Kaushik and Moolchand Singh Kanwa and constables Devnath Pujari and Raisingh Markam were killed on the spot. Nine jawans were severely injured, two of whom are critical with gunshots to the head. All the injured were air-lifted to Raipur for treatment, where constable Lakhan Gadpale died.

Asked if the Maoists suffered any loss, police said it will be known only when the security personnel return to camps. Bastar IG Vivekananda Sinha and DIG Ratanlal Dangi have gone to the spot.

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