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20 Naxals, 5 cops killed in pre-dawn swoop

Fri 09th Oct 2009 09:26 AM IST
20 Naxals, 5 cops killed in pre-dawn swoop
20 Naxals, 5 cops killed in pre-dawn swoop

Khammam, Sept 18 :

 Perhaps in the fiercest gunbattle between the Maoists and the police forces in the recent times, at least 20 extremist, including some top cadre, were killed and five policemen lost their lives in the thick jungles in Dantewada district in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh on Friday.

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According to sources, in the pre-dawn swoop, about 1000 armed policemen belonging to the Cobra wing, formed exclusively for anti-Naxalite operations, surrounded the Maoist camp near Kistaram in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. On seeing the forces taking strategic positions the extremists opened fire and the police retaliated. The gun battle went on for over four hours in which at least 20 Naxalites and five policemen are suspected to have lost their lives.

On a tip-off that the extremists are holding training classes for the fresh recruits in the forest range, the police entered the jungles and cordoned off the entire area. The Maoists soon noticed the movement of the forces in the forests and opened fire on them. The police too retaliated the firing and soon a gun battle ensued.

In the worst crossfire of the recent past, 20 extremists perished and in the firing that the Naxalites opened five police men lost their lives, the sources said adding that the entire forest range reflected a war field for the whole day on Friday.  Some top leaders of the Andhra Pradesh State committee of the outfit are understood to have been killed in the encounter. The extremists who escaped from the firing are suspected to have retreated into the woods.

Hence, the police pressed into service an unmanned helicopter which is sieving the forests for the escaped Naxalites. Intense combing operation is on in the forests along the Andhra Pradesh-Chhattisgarh border. Combing operation is also on in Khammam district bordering Chhattisgarh.

The encounter comes against the backdrop of a recent incident in Khammam district wherein the Naxalites raided a nationalized bank, the State Bank of Hyderabad, in Satyanarayanapuram of Cherla mandal and decamped with Rs 10 lakh. After the bank robbery, the district police got alerted and began combing the entire area. During their search in the forests, the police are understood to have learnt about the extremists training classes and swooped down on them on Friday, sources here feel.

The crossfire is reportedly continuing and might continue on Saturday too. Meanwhile, efforts are on to identify the deceased.


20 Naxals, 5 cops killed in pre-dawn swoop - CineJosh Updated on Fri 09th Oct 2009 09:26 AM IST
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