Odia among 9 CRPF jawans killed in Sukma Naxal attack

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Officials said nine men were killed while two other jawans were injured after the armoured vehicle was blown up using over 50kg of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) concealed under the track that linked Kistaram to Palodi, a senior official said.

Six CRPF personnel have also been injured in the Naxal attack, out of which four are in critical condition, reported news agency ANI.

Earlier on the day, Maoists had staged a similar attack but they fled after the CRPF personnel retaliated the fire.

"The Maoist attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh in which nine CRPF jawans lost their lives is "tragic".

Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted about the incident saying, "Today's IED blast in Sukma, Chhattisgarh is deeply distressing". As many as 300 Naxals were reportedly killed in separate encounters with security forces in Chhattisgarh in the last two years, said state home minister Ramsewak Paikra to the state Legislative Assembly last month.

Chhattisgarh police officials on Tuesday claimed that the the CRPF team was out for an area domination exercise when their Mine Protected Vehicle (MPV) was blasted by the Maoists.

"In an ongoing operation in Sukma District, an encounter took place with Naxals around 8 am on Tuesday. To those who have been injured, I wish a speedy recovery". In Chattisgarh alone, in the past one year, there have been 272 Maoist-related incidents, with 58 Maoists killed and an equal number of security forces martyred.

After the ban on high currency notes, there were 23 major Naxalite attacks in which 97 security personnel and 121 civilians were killed, he said, adding that post-demonetisation, 53 major terror incidents had taken place in Jammu and Kashmir alone, in which 99 security personnel and 64 civilians were killed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the deaths of the CRPF personnel.

25 CRPF soldiers were killed and seven others were critically injured in the attack by Maoists in Sukma, which was one of the deadliest in recent years.

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