Raipur: Hundreds of Maoists on Monday massacred at least 26 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district in the bloodiest attack in the state since 2013.
The Central Reserve Police Force said the ambush began at 12.30 p.m., leading to a gun battle between the troopers and the Maoists who, survivors said, used hand grenades, automatic rifles and rocket launchers.
Troopers who survived the horror said the Maoists, women included, emerged out of the blue before opening indiscriminate fire.
CRPF Deputy Inspector General M. Dinakaran said 11 bodies were first recovered and a 12th trooper succumbed to his injuries in a hospital here. A
subsequent search of the area led to 12 more bodies.
Two more men died subsequently in hospital, taking the toll to 26.
The 99-member CRPF patrol assisting a Road Opening Party was reportedly readying for lunch when it came under attack, taking the victims by surprise.
Air Force helicopters evacuated the wounded to hospitals in Raipur, officials said.Security forces launched a major search operation to track down the Maoists.
This was the worst attack by Maoists in Chhattisgarh since 2010 when 76 CRPF troopers were killed. Twelve CRPF men were killed in a similar Maoist attack in Sukma early this year.