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26 cops killed in Jharkhand landmine blast

April 08, 2004 09:54 IST
Last Updated: April 08, 2004 17:00 IST

In a major strike a day before Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani entered Jharkhand on his Bharat Uday Yatra, suspected Naxalites set off a series of landmine blasts killing 26 policemen while one ultra was shot dead in an ensuing encounter in West Singhbhum district.

Suspected outlawed Maoist Communist Centre ultras triggered the explosions when Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar and his team were on a combing operation in the dense forest near Gua, 100km from the district headquarters Chaibasa, police said in state capital Ranchi.

A couple of police vehicles were blown up in the explosions killing 26 men and injuring three, including Kumar. The attack is the biggest since the Bitkilsoya ambush on December 19, 2001 in which 19 policemen were killed.

"It seems the MCC cadres want to disrupt the elections. But they will not succeed in their designs," Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who rushed to Gua, told reporters.

He said Advani had no cause for concern from the security point of view as the attack had occurred in a dense forest. The deputy prime minister's entourage was to enter the state at Koderma, over 300km from the blast site, on Thursday afternoon.

Advani's Bharat Uday Yatra

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