Twelve Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and three others injured when Naxals ambushed a road opening party of the security forces in Maoist-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
The attack that took place in the dense forests of Bhejji police station limits at 9:15 AM when a patrol party of CRPF's 219 battalion was out for a road opening task near Kotacheru village.
112 security personnel were part of the patrol party.
The Naxals also looted ten weapons and two radio sets from the killed men, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief over the saddening incident.
“Saddened by the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. Tributes to the martyrs & condolences to their families. May the injured recover quickly,” tweeted PM Modi.
Saddened by the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. Tributes to the martyrs & condolences to their families. May the injured recover quickly— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 11, 2017
Spoke to Home Minister @rajnathsingh Ji on the situation in Sukma. He is going to Sukma to take stock of the situation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 11, 2017
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “The Centre is in direct communication with the state government. Those who perpetrated this incident in Sukma will be brought to justice”.
A considerable three-fold rise has been recorded by the Union Home Ministry in the number of Maoists who have surrendered in2016. However, there has also been a spike in the number of deaths of civilians, mostly of alleged police informers, in violence involving left-wing extremists, when compared to 2015.
The figures available with the ministry till December 15, 2016 show that 1,420 Maoists surrendered this year as compared to 570 in 2015, 670 in 2014 and 282 in 2013.
(With PTI inputs)