Nine CRPF soldiers have died in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh Photograph: (Agencies)
Police officials said the attack occurred in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh
Twelve Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers were killed on Saturday when Naxals ambushed a road opening party of the security forces in Maoist-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said.
Five jawans were also injured in 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.
The Bhejji area in south Bastar region of the state is notorious for Naxal attacks and many security personnel have been killed there in the past. It is considered as the last bastion of the Naxals as the area sits right on the tri-junction of Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The Naxals looted ten weapons, including six INSAS rifles, four AK-47s, a light machine gun, 1,587 bullet rounds, an under-barrel grenade launcher, a 51mm mortar, two para bombs and two radio sets, officials said.
India's home minister Rajnath Singh arrived in Chhattisgarh and paid tributes to the fallen soldiers, along with Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh. He called the attack a cowardly act and said the Naxals had executed the attack as a result of their frustration.
"Naxal attack on CRPF men in Sukma cowardly act. Sacrifices of the personnel won't go in vain," Rajnath Singh told PTI.
"Naxals on the backfoot and executed this attack in frustration," added the home minister.
Decided that total compensation to kin of martyred jawans shouldn't be less than Rs 1 Cr under any circumstances: HM on Sukma Maoist attack pic.twitter.com/S2NY6mnJsW— ANI (@ANI_news) March 11, 2017
PM Modi spoke to Rajnath Singh almost immediately on the situation in Sukma. He later offered condolences to the families of CRPF personnel killed in the Sukma Naxal attack.
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
Chhattisgarh: Locals in Sukma pay homage to the 12 CRPF personnel who lost their lives in Maoist attack that took place today. pic.twitter.com/MH52AKDtbj— ANI (@ANI_news) March 11, 2017