Jagdalpur, Oct 29 (UNI) Five Special Police Officers (SPOs) were killed, three injured and 12 security personnel went missing today after Naxalites triggered a landmine blast, targetting a patrol party near Kosaguda village in Bijapur district in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
Police sources said the ultras first triggered a blast when the security personnel, comprising SPOs and four constables, were patrolling the area at around 1030 hrs and later opened fire.
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 also injured in the blast and firing, while 12 other security personnel went missing after the incident that took place about six km away from the Gangaloor-Bijapur road.
A team of security personnel, led by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), has 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.