Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, Nov 3: A near total bandh was observed in this tribal district in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh today to protest against Naxalites, who had unleashed an attack on a police party near Tonguda yesterday, killing 16 people.
Greyhounds, an elite commando force of Andhra Pradesh, have, meanwhile, joined the combing operations to flush out the insurgents.
Maoist rebels had targetted a group of 21 security personnel near Tonguda village under Pamed police station near the inter-state border with Andhra Pradesh yesterday afternoon.
Till late last night, only five security personnel had escaped with injuries while it was feared that 16 securitymen were killed in the attack. However, the toll will be officially confirmed only after security personnel took control of the area and recovered the bodies.
Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) R K Vij told the sources that security personnel from Konta and Bijapur had been airlifted this morning to the spot on the inter-state border while Greyhounds, the elite commando force of Andhra Pradesh, have also reached the area.
He said the security personnel have launched a search around the place where the blast took place to locate all those who went missing after the blast followed by gunfire attack by the rebels.
A near total bandh is being observed in Bijapur town as a mark of protest against the Naxalite attack.
Opposition Congress leaders last night asked the district administration to call off the cultural programmes being organised at the district headquarters in connection with the state formation day.