Thirteen CRPF personnel, including two officers, were on Monday killed while an equal number were injured in an encounter with Maoists in the Naxal hotbed of Sukma in Chhattisgarh.
According to preliminary reports reaching the force’s headquarters, a squad of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was undertaking operations in Kasanpara village of the district in the south Bastar region when they entered into an encounter with the Maoists at around 1030 A.M.
The engagement, a senior officer said, continued till 1400 hours with casualties occurring on both sides.
The officer said that the Maoists fired at the CRPF patrol party taking the aid of locals and villagers and hence the force had to fire with restraint.
Most of the troops suffered bullet injuries and have been air-lifted to Jagdalpur and the state capital for treatment.
“Two officers, one in the rank of Deputy Commandant and an Assistant Commandant, have been killed while over a dozen personnel have been injured,” the officer said, adding that the squad was in the jungles for the last 10 days to carry out operations.
Incidentally, five CRPF personnel were injured last week in the same area in an encounter with Maoists.
Reinforcements are being sent to the area and the offensive by security forces is being led by CRPF Inspector General (Chhattisgarh), HS Sidhu.