CRPF special DG Vijay Raman told the Times of India that 26 CRPF men have been confirmed dead and 5 injured. The casualties may be higher. "These are not final figures," Raman said.
The attack took place just three kilometres from a CRPF camp in Dhaudhai on a road leading to the densely forested Maoist-controlled Abhujhmad area.
The party of "about company strength with 70 personnel" was on its way back from clearing the road when the Maoists opened fire from a hilltop.
"We are in the process of evacuating our men. Some have been brought back. Others are being brought back to safety," said R K Dua, IG CRPF. He added that while two seriously injured men had been evacuated by helicopter, the air sortees had to be suspended as evening fell.
Brigadier B K Ponwar, who heads the Jungle Warfare College in Kanker said, "You have to be doubly secure when making the return journey along the same route. You need to secure all areas from where you can be fired upon."
26 CRPF personnel killed in Maoists attack in Chhattisgarh by Supriya Sharma, TNN, Jun 29, 2010, 09.03pm IST
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