At least ten CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) commandos belonging to its elite COBRA battalion were killed in a Naxal IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast in the jungles of Bihar's Aurangabad district.
The jawans belonged to the 205th COBRA battalion and were deployed in the state for conducting anti-naxal operations.
This is one of the biggest casualties of the elite COBRA unit which has been raised by the CRPF for undertaking special jungle warfare operations.
The martyred CRPF men have been identified as -
1. Head Constables Anil Kumar Singh, a resident of Buxar in Bihar
2. K Opendra Singh of Thoubal, Manipur
3. Constables Sinod Kumar of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh
4. Ramesh Kumar from Hoshiarpur in Punjab
5. Diwakar Kumar from Khagariya in Bihar
6. Polash Mondal from South Denajpur in West Bengal
7. Deepak Ghosh of Nadia in West Bengal
8. Manoj Kumar of Betul in Madhya Pradesh
9. Harvender Panwar of Muzaffarnagar in UP
10. Ravi Kumar from Siwan in Bihar
Officials said five other personnel also were critically injured in the fierce gun battle that ensued after the IED blast.
The jawans of the COBRA unit were ambushed in the IED blast after which an encounter started on Monday afternoon between the two resulting in the killing of three naxals by late night, they said.
"While eight personnel were killed on the spot, two others succumbed to their injuries when they were being evacuated," a senior official said.
The incident was reported from Chakarbanda-Dumarinala forests of the said district, bordering Gaya.
Some arms and ammunition, including an AK-47 rifle, INSAS rifle and under barrel grenade launcher were also recovered from the site.
Addition reinforcements of the state police and CRPF have reached the spot and a search operation has been launched.
CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad and other senior officers are expected to visit the ambush site today.