Maharashtra: Maoists kill 16 CRPF jawans in blast
New Delhi: In yet another attack by Maoists on army jawans, 16 CRPF jawans were killed in a landmine blast in Gadchiroli area of Maharashtra on Tuesday.
According to the initial reprots, virtually striking at will, the maoists blew up a bus carrying jawans of 192 battalion.
The troops were reportedly travelling in a bus and were going from Pushtola to Gatta for an operational duty when the blast took place killing them on-the-spot, CRPF officials said.
Top police officials have confirmed that it was a high intensity landmine blast.
CRPF Chief K Vijay Kumar is on a tour of Maharashtra and was in Gadchiroli area after he started from Nagpur this morning, they said, adding he was now on his way to the attack spot.
The CRPF officials said the casualty and injured figures could increase as a reinforcement team has been rushed to the area.
The troops belonging to the 192nd battalion of the force were deployed there.
According to police in Nagpur, several others were injured when the Naxalites blew up the bus carrying them. Six critically injured jawans have been brought to Gadchiroli.
Preliminary reports received in the office of IG (Operations) Sunil Ramanand said the incident occurred near Pustola village on Karwafa-Fulbodi Gutta road, about 4 km from Gadchiroli, around noon.
Combing of the area has already begun, they said. Top officers of Maharashtra Anti-Naxal Operation team had already arrived in Gadchiroli this morning. They are monitoring the situation.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil is expected to make a statement in the Assembly on the attack.
"I am gathering information and will make a statement in the House," Mr Patil told reporters in Mumbai.