Twelve persons of a marriage party, including four women, were killed when Naxalites triggered a landmine blast on Tuesday at Halewara near Kasansur forest in Gadchiroli district of south-eastern Maharashtra, police said.
The members of the marriage party were travelling in a vehicle, which was tossed in the air by the powerful blast, police said adding, it is suspected that the Naxalites felt that police were moving in a non-official vehicle and carried out the blast.
The bride and groom survived the explosion as their vehicle had crossed just before the blast occured, police said.
The marriage party was returning to Pakhanjur in Kanker district in adjoining Chhattisgarh from Sunderban in Mulchera area of Etapalli taluka, police said.
Additional SP Anant Rokade has been rushed to the scene.
Following is the list of victims in landmine blast at Gadchiroli district: Subrath Amulyakumar Roy (43), Amit Khagendranath Roy (28), Sachin Gyanandra Hazari (35), Arun Prafulla Sardar (43), Sukdev Kanahai Mistry (40) Harinand Naresh Sarkar (55), vehicle driver Babber age not mentioned, Mamata Viswanath Badai (45), Sushila Viswanath Badai (12), Chanchala Niranjan Roy (15), Netatai Karmarkar (43), The 12th victim's name was not identified, a release issued by the police department said in Nagpur.
The Naxals had on March 14 triggered a blast blowing the anti-land mine vehicle of the police, but all the police personnel had escaped without any major injury.
The second attack was on April 19 when the ultras triggered a landmine blast, killing a young constable on the spot and injuring four others, including a 57-year-old sub-inspector, who later succumbed to injuries in a city hospital.