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Home > News > PTI

25 killed in naxal attack in Chhattisgarh

July 17, 2006 11:45 IST
Last Updated: July 17, 2006 16:59 IST

At least 25 people were killed and 80 injured, about 32 of them seriously, while 250 people were missing following an attack by some 800 armed Naxalites in Dantewada district on Monday, police said.

The Maoists brutally killed the villagers, and 20 of them were hacked to death with sharp weapons, while three were charred to death and two were shot dead by the Naxalites at Errabore relief camp, 550 km from the state capital, police and official sources told PTI over phone from Konta.

Of the nearly 250 people who are missing, 23 were kidnapped by the Naxalites from the camp, where about 4000 people had taken shelter, the sources said.

State Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam, on his way to the area despite bad weather, said security forces were searching for the Maoists who carried out the attack. The state was in constant touch with the Centre and a military helicopter had been sought to evacuate the injured, Netam told PTI.

At about 1 am, 800-armed Naxalites attacked a Central Reserve Police Force camp at Errabore to distract the security forces so that they could strike at the government-run relief camp at the same time, CRPF sources said, adding that after blocking all roads that connected Errabore, armed Naxalites indiscriminately fired at the CRPF camp from all sides.

At the same time, another group of armed Naxalites raided the relief camp located close to the Errabore police station. The rebels triggered blasts and attacked people with sharp weapons, and opened indiscriminate fire, the sources said.

The attack lasted about two hours and when CRPF personnel chased the Maoists in a bulletproof vehicle, the Naxalites rushed into nearby jungles, taking with them some people from the camp, they said.

Police and the CRPF are combing the area. Ever since the Salwa Judum or peace campaign against the Naxalites started on June 4 last year, over 300 villagers have been killed by Maoists. Because of the threat from Left wing extremists, over 50,000 people from about 700 villages of Dantewada district have taken shelter in 17 relief camps run by the state government.

Onkar Singh adds from New Delhi

Former director general of Punjab police and now anti-terrorism consultant to the government of Chhattisgarh, Kanwar Pal Singh Gill, has stated that the attack was not a set back to the security operations being carried out under his supervision. This is the first major strike by the Naxalites ever since Gill took over his new assignment.

"Senior police officers have rushed to the spot and we are now awaiting details of the incident. There was a quick response from the security forces and many naxals who took part in the attack were also killed," Gill told over telephone from Raipur.

"We would get the details by evening and then we will do our own assessment. The Naxals attacked in retaliation because they had, in the recent weeks, lost some of their key men in the police combing operations," he said.

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