Naxals kill 12 CRPF jawans in Chhattisgarh

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Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh, Oct 20 (UNI) Twelve Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constables were killed and ten injured, two severely, when Naxals triggered a landmine and opened fire in Bijapur district's Bhopalpatnam area today, police said.

The assault seemed part of the insurgents' 'traditional' poll boycott as the process of electioneering in Chhattisgarh got underway today with Governor E S L Narasimhan issuing notification for the first phase of Assembly polls in 39 constituencies.

Two rebels were also killed in the encounter with security personnel immediately after the blast near Kokampalli village by the Bijapur-Bhopalpatnam road.

''The jawans of Modukpal Camp, 22 km from Bijapur, were on foot patrol when the Maoists triggered the landmine, killing three constables on the spot,'' said CRPF Deputy Inspector-General R S Sohta.

About 70 to 80 ultras were involved in the assault, the officer said adding that other jawans were killed in the firing. The grievously hurt were being rushed by helicopter to Raipur.

About a month back, militants targeted a police team near Chitrakote waterfall in Bastar district during President Pratibha Devisingh Patil's visit to the tourist spot. Five security personnel, including a CRPF Deputy Commandant, were martyred in the attack.

UNI XC-SP AC AKJ HT1712

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