Kanker, April 11: A day after they killed seven policemen in Sukma district, Naxals on Sunday blew up nearly two dozen trucks in Kanker district of Chhattisgarh.
According to media reports, Naxals torched off 17 vehicles and machinery engaged in transportation at an iron ore mine.
Meanwhile, security forces have rushed to the spot.
On Saturday, seven policemen were killed and a dozen injured when Naxals ambushed them, triggering a gunbattle in the dense jungles of Maoist hotbed of Sukma district in Chhattisgarh.
The two-hour gunbattle took place in the worst-affected Pidmel-Polampalli area of the district when a squad of state police Special Task Force (STF) was out for operations.
Officials said a group of about 300 Maoists opened heavy fire on the police team at around 9:15 am when it was conducting a search operation in the jungles of the district, about 390kms south of state capital Raipur.
"Seven of our troops have been martyred while about twelve injured in the encounter," Additional Director General of Police (Anti-Naxal operations) R K Vij said.
They said the 70 personnel strong STF squad was confronted with a volley of bullets in the jungles which is at the south axis of the Dornapal-Chintagufa area where several ambushes and killings of security forces had taken place in the past including the most deadly when 76 personnel were killed here in 2010.
Officials said a "good number" of weapons of the martyrs and the injured troops were looted by the Naxals before fleeing. Officials said the encounter has hearlded the first major Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) operation which is conducted by Naxals to gain ground every summer. Security officials engaged in anti-Maoist operationssaid TCOC in Chhattisgarh had begun in late March and this is the first big casualty on the forces' side.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Chief Minister Raman Singh over phone who apprised him about the situation in Sukma. "Extra CRPF teams have been rushed to the spot. I salute the bravery of our security personnel who laid down their lives while fighting the Naxals. I wish for speedy recovery of the injured," Rajnath said.
(With agency inputs)