Jagdalpur, Oct 29: Five Special Police Officers (SPOs) were killed, three injured and 12 security personnel went missing after Naxalites triggered a landmine blast targetting a patrolling party near Kosaguda village in naxalite infested Bijapur district in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
Police sources said the rebels first triggered a blast when the security personnel, comprising SPOs and four constables, were patrolling the area at around 1030 hours and later opened fire at them.
The deceased have been identified as Manoj Kuriam, Ratiram, Tisra Kopa, Virish Kas and Hariram, all SPOs- the local tribal youth recruited to assist the security personnel in anti-naxalite operations on a honorarium of Rs 1500 per month.
Police said two SPOs and a constable were injured in the blast and firing, while 12 other security personnel went missing after the incident that took place about six Kms away from the Gangaloor-Bijapur road.
A team of security personnel, led by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), have already reached the spot and started combing operations to flush out the rebels from the area, a senior police officer engaged in anti-naxalite operations said.
''We are making efforts to trace the missing security personnel and rescue them'', he added.