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CRPF death toll in Naxal attack rises to 27

By The Assam Tribune

RAIPUR, June 30 � Security personnel today scoured the jungles in Chhattishgarh�s Narayanpur district in the hunt for Naxals who killed 27 CRPF personnel in yet another deadly attack in a remote area, reports PTI

Around 15 Naxals were also possibly killed when CRPF personnel retaliated during the Maoist ambush in a remote area, about 300 km from here, Chhattisgarh DGP Viswa Ranjan told PTI.

The bodies of the Naxals have however not been found. Naxalites are known to take away the bodies of their cadres killed in encounters with security forces.

Around 100 Naxals who struck with automatic rifles were involved in the �major ambush� and the gunbattle lasted for two to three hours, police said.

The death toll in yesterday�s third major Naxal attack on security personnel in Chhattisgarh in as many months rose to 27 after the body of a CRPF constable Neeraj Kumar who was missing was found by search parties today.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation, has said the sacrifices of the security personnel will not go in vain.

�The security personnel have laid down their lives to free the people from Naxal terror. Their sacrifice will not go in vain,� Singh said.

�The Naxals have carried out a cowardly act. People and groups having faith in human rights should condemn this act of murder in once voice,� he said, vowing to end the Maoist menace in the state.

�The extremists lack moral courage to engage in a direct fight with our brave security forces,� he said, while conveying his condolences to members of the bereaved families.

The bodies of 26 CRPF personnel were brought here today after they were airlifted from the scene of the Maoist attack. After the postmortems, the bodies were sent to the police training institute in Mana near here where tributes were paid to the victims.

Search operations have begun in Naryanpur�s Daurai Road and adjacent areas where the dastardly attack took place which also left eight personnel including four special officers of Chhattisgarh Police injured, Ranjan said.

CRPF Director General Vikram Srivastava and other top police officers have reached the spot to review the situation and operations.

A large number of heavily-armed Maoists, perched on a hilltop, had opened fire with automatic weapons on a 63-member security contingent which was returning on foot from road opening duty yesterday. The dead included a CRPF Assistant Commandant and two sub-inspectors.

The Maoists had massacred 76 policemen in Chhattisgarh in a similar assault on April 6. On May 17, a Maoist landmine attack on a bus killed 24 civilians and 11 policemen.

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