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Missing boat in Orissa Naxal attack found

July 02, 2008 18:24 IST

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After three days of search operations, naval divers on Wednesday located the boat that went missing with Greyhound commandoes following a Maoist ambush on Sunday and extracted two bodies.

"The boat has been traced deep inside the Balimela reservoir in Malkangiri district," said deputy inspector general, south-western range, Sanjeev Panda, adding that the body of two missing commandoes has been extracted from the waters.

"Heavy machinery has been ordered from Visakhapatnam [Images] to retrieve the boat by cutting it into pieces," DIG Panda said. "The vessel is buried in the soil at the bottom of the reservoir at a depth of about 43 metres."

With some missing jawans feared trapped inside the boat, the search-and-rescue operation was further intensified by raising the number of divers to 30 and other security personnel to 1000, superintendent of police, Malkangiri, S K Gajbhiye said, adding that four choppers were assisting the effort.

Home Secretary T K Mishra said more lighting arrangements were being provided for smooth conduct of the operation.

Meanwhile, the Orissa government on Wednesday askedĀ the additional director general of police-operationsĀ  and the revenue divisional commissioner of the southern division to submit a report on the situation.

More than 200 personnel of the elite Greyhound of the Andhra Pradesh and Orissa police carried out an intensive combing operation in the entire Naxalite-infested belt, where a high alert has already been sounded. The Orissa government has sought about 600 additional Central Reserve Police Force personnel from the Centre to further intensify the operation.

Besides some weapons including three rifles and a light machine gun, the search teams recovered a few uniforms, caps and shoes from the reservoir, Gajbhiye said.

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