Maoist rebels
[Representational Image]Vanguard

At least 12 jawans belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed, while four others got injured in a Maoist attack in the Sukma district of Chattisgarh on Saturday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has reached Raipur to meet the CRPF personnel who got injured in the attack.

The attack happened when Maoists ambushed a patrol party of the security forces in the dense forests of Sukma district within the Bhejji Police Station limits at 9:15 am. A patrol party consisting of 112 jawans of the CRPF's 219 battalion was out for a road opening task near the district's Kotacheru village. 

According to officials, the Maoists looted 10 weapons and two radio sets from the deceased jawans. A senior official told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that the road opening party was an operation to make sure that security was provided to a patch on the under-construction Injram-Bhejji road, which is situated around 450 km away from the state capital.

Maoists opened indiscriminate fire on the road opening party when it was passing through the forests between the villages of Bhejji and Kottacheru. The jawans got trapped in the IED blasts which was followed by an ambush with heavy gunfire.

According to PTI, additional forces have rushed to the spot while the bodies of the slain jawans is being recovered, the official said. The injured CRPF jawans have been airlifted and taken to the CRPF field hospital in Bheji. A special CoBRA team has also been rushed to the spot as a reinforcement.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had told ANI that nine CRPF jawans "have lost their lives" in the Maoist attack. However, three more jawans succumbed to their injuries taking the death toll to 12.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his condolences to the families of the CRPF personnel, who lost their lives in the Maoist attack in Sukma. He also spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the situation in the district. Singh will be going to Sukma to take stock of the situation.