Ten people including three police commandos were killed on Thursday in two separate attacks by Maoists in Maharashtra and Bihar.
The three commandos, who were jawans of C-60 Commando Force, lost their lives in a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in a forest area in Gadchiroli on Maharashtra border adjoining Chhattisgarh in the first major attack in the area in several months, local police control room sources said.
Acting on a tip-off about Maoists hiding in the area, the jawans of the anti-Naxal commando force launched combing operations in the Bada Zariya forest area under Gyarapatti police station limits in Dhanora taluka late on Wednesday night when the Naxals triggered a landmine blast.
There was also an exchange of fire after the blast, local sources said. Senior police officials have rushed to the spot and the bodies are being brought to Gadchiroli, police said.
This is a major attack by Maoists in the last few months after police eliminated more than 23 ultras in different operations this year. In a daring attack in Bihar, Maoists blew up a vehicle killing all its seven occupants in the Naxal-infested Aurangabad district. Maoists detonated a cane bomb to blow up a vehicle in Pathara village killing all the seven occupants including a Zila Parishad member Usha Devi's husband Sushil Pandey on the spot, Director General of Police Abhayanand told PTI.
The ultras targeted the ill-fated vehicle while it was headed to Pandey's native Pisai village, the DGP said. Superintendent of Police Daljeet Singh and other local civil and police officials have rushed to the spot with additional forces to launch combing-cum-search operation against the Maoists, Abhayanand said
Efforts were underway to ascertain the identity of the other victims, he said.