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January 28, 2002
1150 IST

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Nine Jharkhand cops killed in landmine blast

Soroor Ahmed in Patna

Nine Jharkhand Armed Police personnel were among 11 persons killed in a landmine blast in Gumla district of Jharkhand on Sunday night.

According to reports reaching Patna, Naxalites of the banned Peoples War Group are suspected to be behind the incident, which took place 11 km from Chainpur police station.

The blast was so powerful that the vehicle in which the victims were travelling went up about 30 feet in the air before being blown into smithereens, police said.

The explosion caused a five-feet deep crater on the spot, they added.

This is the first such attack in Gumla district. The bodies are expected to be brought to the state capital Ranchi.

The blast occurred while the policemen were returning to the Chainpur police station. Two villagers were also killed in the incident.

This is the first major attack on the police after October 31 when 13 police personnel were killed in a daring attack on the police station in Topchanchi township of Dhanbad district.

In another incident in Ranchi, a Maoist Communist Centre cadre was killed in an encounter with the police on Sunday.

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