6 policemen killed after Naxalite rebels trigger blast in central India

NEW DELHI (XINHUA) - At least six policemen were killed and one was wounded on Sunday (May 20) after Naxals triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) blast, targeting their vehicle in central Indian state of Chattisgarh, police said.

The vehicle was blown up at Cholnar Village of Dantewada, about 383km south of Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh.

"Today a police vehicle moving from Cholnar to Kirandul was targeted with an IED blast by Naxals," a senior police official P Sunder Raj told the media. "The attack left six policemen dead and one wounded."

According to officials, the blast left five policemen dead on the spot and two injured.

One of the two policemen injured died later. The remaining one was airlifted to Raipur for treatment.

Following the attack, reinforcements of police and paramilitary were rushed to the area to take on Naxals there, officials said.

In March, at least nine paramilitary troopers of Central Reserve Police Force were killed and two others wounded in a similar attack in adjacent Sukma district.

New Delhi has deployed several companies of its paramilitary forces to take on Naxals in their strongholds.

The insurgency reportedly has claimed more than 6,000 lives and rendered thousands of poor inhabitants homeless.

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