Jagdalpur, Oct 29 (UNI) Five security personnel, all local tribals, were killed and three others injured today when Naxalites attacked them near Kosaguda village in naxalite infested Bijapur district in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh.
Bijapur district Superintendent of Police Ratanlal Dangi told UNI that 12 other security personnel, who went missing immediately after the Naxalite attack on the patrolling party, had been traced.
''All of them have returned safely. They have joined the combing operations being carried out by the para-military forces,'' he added.
The incident took place at around 1030 hrs when a patrolling party, comprising police and special police officers (SPOs), was near Kosaguda village, about six km away from Gangaloor-Bijapur road. The rebels initially triggered a blast and later opened fire at the security personnel.
The deceased have been identified as Manoj Kuriam, Ratiram, Tisra Kopa, Virish Kas and Hariram, all SPOs- local tribal youth recruited to assist the security personnel in anti-naxal operations on a honorarium of Rs 1500 per month. Police said two SPOs and a constable were injured in the blast and firing.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) R K Vij said additional security forces, including Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, were rushed to the spot to carry out combing operation to flush out the rebels.
''In fact, the security forces are now chasing the rebels,'' he said.
Maoist rebels in Bastar region had stepped up violence during the last two years, particularly after the local population launched an anti-naxalite campaign '' Salwa Judum'' to isolate the rebels, win over the tribal masses and fight against the Naxalites.