Raipur, Oct 20 (IANS) Maoists insurgents Monday carried out a major attack on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in a thick forested stretch of Chhattisgarh's southern revolt-hit forested interiors, killing at least 12 troopers and injuring six.
Rebels also made off with weapons of the deceased cops included AK-47s. One Maoist ultra was also killed in retaliatory firing by the CRPF personnel.
The incident took place in Bijapur district's Kongupelli village, some 400 km south of capital Raipur, when heavily armed insurgents waiting at a turning on a hilly portion first triggered multiple landmine blasts and then opened indiscriminate fire on a search party that was on foot.
Six CRPF men who sustained multiple bullet wounds were first rushed to the Bijapur district headquarters, Bijapur town, but in late evening a state government chopper airlifted them to Raipur for advanced treatment.
'It was a flash attack. The alert CRPF squad, drawn from the 170th battalion, returned the fire but the attack was so heavy and planned that 12 troopers were killed on the spot while six are battling for life,' Girdhari Nayak, chief of the state's anti-Maoist operations, told IANS.
The attack site is heavily forested and lacks communication facilities. Reinforcements drawn from the State Armed Force and CRPF have been rushed there to launch a counter attack.
Police spokesperson Rajkumar Devangan said: 'Militants have made off with weapons of the deceased CRPF men that included AK-47s and self-loading rifles.'