Maoists kill 25 policemen (India)
Konta (Chhattisgarh): Twenty-five police personnel, including 16 CRPF men and six special police officers (SPOs), were killed in an ambush by Maoists near Regadagatta village in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Monday.
A CRPF Assistant Commandant and two personnel of the Chhattisgarh Armed Police were among those killed. Weapons, including five AK-47s, an LMG, 15 INSAS rifles and a two inch-mortar with ammunition, were taken away by the Maoists.
Police claimed that six naxalites were killed in the gunfight. Their bodies, however, were not found.
As the ambush occurred deep in the forest, about 10 km. from the road between Erraborre and Gaganpalli, reinforcements could reach only by Tuesday afternoon.
Local and official sources said that when the CRPF party, accompanied by 84 SPOs, reached a naxalite camp late on Monday evening, some Maoists took to their heels.
Chase to hillock
As the CRPF men chased the Maoists to a nearby hillock, about 400 Maoists and their tribal supporters surrounded them and opened fire. They used smoke bombs and rocket launchers and blasted mines placed on trees.
While 24 men died on the spot, some managed to escape with injuries.
Four of them reached the Erraborre police camp in the early hours of Tuesday.
Senior police officers from Dantewada reached Erraborre, but did not go to the ambush spot.
When a police party reached the spot to collect their colleagues' bodies on Tuesday afternoon, they were fired upon.
The gunfight lasted half-an-hour. The police party later collected the bodies and trekked back to Erraborre.
Last year attack
A "Salwa Judum" base camp in Erranorre was attacked around the same time last year and about 30 civilians were killed.
Von: 11.07.2007, D. Chandrabhaskar Rao, http://www.hinduonnet.com