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Maharashtra: Naxals trigger IED blast in Gadchiroli, 15 jawans killed

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Mumbai, May 01: Fifteen security personnel and a driver were killed in an explosion set off by Maoists in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli. The Maoists triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) to target the police vehicle.

Image tweeted by ANI

The incident took place on the Kurkheda-Korchi road in Gadchiroli when a team of the C-60 squad commandoes, an anti-Naxal unit, was patrolling the area.

Sudhir Mungantiwar, Maharashtra Minister on Gadchiroli naxal attack said, "We suspect that 15 police jawaans and a driver have lost their lives in this incident.

The attack is belived to be a retaliation by the Maoists after 40 extremists were gunned down by security forces on April 22 last year near Bhamragarh in the district.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack on Twitter and said the perpetrators will not be spared. "Strongly condemn the despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. I salute all the brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. My thoughts & solidarity are with the bereaved families," he wrote.

Home minister Rajnath Singh too condemned the attack. "Spoke to Maharashtra CM Shri @Dev_Fadnavis regarding the tragic incident in Gadchiroli and expressed my grief at the loss of brave Police personnel. We are providing all assistance needed by the state government. MHA is in constant touch with the state administration," he tweeted.

In similar incident earlier, naxals have allegedly set ablaze 27 machines and vehicles at a road construction site in Kurkheda of Gadchiroli district on Wednesday.

On April 11, an encounter broke out between CRPF personnel and Naxals in the Naxal affected district of Gadchiroli.

In January this year, Naxals set ablaze vehicles in the villages of Kurkheda, Korchi and Potegaon here.

Gadchiroli voted in the first phase of national election on April 11.

Last month, a BJP legislator and four others were killed when Maoists attacked their convoy in Chhattisgarh's Bastar. The incident happened on April 9, just two days before the region votes in the first phase of the 2019 general election.

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