A highly trained central reserve police force (CRPF) patrol dog famed as ‘Crackers’ was killed on Friday and his handler injured in a Naxal triggered IED blast in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.
Officials said the incident occurred in the evening hours in the Chinnakodepal-Modakpal jungles of the said district when a patrol party of the force was out for a road sanitisation and clearing task.
They said the dog 'Cracker', a Belgian Malinois breed, was hit by the splinters of the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was cleverly hidden beneath the 'kuchha' road in the area by Maoists.
"While Cracker was killed on the spot, his handler constable Avinash has been injured. The party has been evacuated," a senior officer said.
The force had lost a similar breed dog, Pluto, in January in the same district when a patrol was out for anti-Naxal operations.
Pluto's colleague and CRPF canine 'Aminika' was similarly killed in an IED blast in Jharkhand's Latehar early this year.
The Belgian Malinois is a highly-trained and ferocious canine breed used by paramilitary and security forces for infantry patrol roles and is also famed as the Osama hunters.
They are known so as these dogs first shot to international fame after they assisted the elite US Navy SEALs in sniffing out Osama bin Laden from his safe haven in Pakistan in 2011.
The Belgian Malinois is being inducted in Indian security forces since the last few years as they have an excellent track record of sniffing out hidden bombs, human presence and danger in the enemy territory.
(With inputs from PTI)