Three jawans of the Sashastra Seema Bal were killed and another seriously injured on Friday when a mini truck of the force was blown up in a landmine explosion triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, said the police.
"Three jawans of SSB died while another personnel was injured when the vehicle came in contact with a landmine planted by the Maoists," said Additional Director General (Naxal Operations) Ram Nivas.
The fourth trooper, a constable, is said to be in a critical condition.
The incident occurred on Friday morning in Bastanar area under the jurisdiction of Geedam police station in the Naxal-hit district where the SSB has been deployed for the protection of Salva Judum camps for the past four years, he said.
Personnel of the SSB, which has been replaced by the Chhattisgarh police now, were proceeding to Raipur to move out of the state and were near the national highway near Bastanar when the blast took place, killing two jawans on the spot.
Another SSB man succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment.
"Three troopers have been killed while one has been airlifted to a hospital in Jagdalpur," Nivas said.
Senior officials, including the inspector general of Jagdalpur and the superintendent of police of Dantewada, have reached the spot along with a contingent of the CRPF to take stock of the situation and launch combing operations, he said.
Two battalions of the SSB were deployed in 2008 to protect the volunteers of Salwa Judum. Recently, the home ministry had ordered their withdrawal from the state as the state police agreed to take over the duty.