The Maoists ambushed the camp catching the jawans unaware and unprepared. They sprayed bullets, triggered off explosions and set the camp on fire after looting the firearms.
"At least 24 jawans of Eastern Frontiers Rifles have been killed in the attack at the Silda camp and the condition of two of them is stated to be very critical," District Magistrate N S Nigam is quoted as saying.
Some of the jawans were burnt alive while others were gunned down in the biggest-ever Maoist attack in West Bengal.
The Maoists, who came in on bikes, planted landmines on their way out of the attack site in order to prevent the security forces from following them and retaliating.
Maoist polit bureau member Kishenji, who has claimed responsibility for the attack, has said that this was an answer to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram"s 'Operation Green Hunt".
“In the last two months, several persons were killed in various States in the name of 'Operation Green Hunt". This was a counter-offensive in response to the Centre"s offensive," Kishanji told a local news channel, adding that the attack was a part of the outfit"s 'Peace Hunt' operations.