Maharashtra: 16 security personnel killed in IED blast by Maoists

At least 16 security personnel were killed in an IED explosion set off by Maoists in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli on Wednesday.

Currently, exchange of fire is underway between the police and Naxals at the site. The IED blast was targeted on a police vehicle carrying 16 security personnel from the Kurkheda Quick Response Team of Gadchiroli Police. And the blast took place between Jamborkheda and Lendhari, according to local police.

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Several political leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, condemned the attack.

PM Modi wrote on Twitter, “Strongly condemn the despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. I salute all the brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. My thoughts & solidarity are with the bereaved families. The perpetrators of such violence will not be spared.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also condemned the attack.

The incident comes weeks after an IED blast near a polling booth in Gadchiroli on April 11, during the first phase of the national election. No one was injured in the incident.

Earlier in the day, Maoists allegedly set on fire 27 machines and vehicles at a road construction site in Kurkheda of Gadchiroli district.

The two incidents come on a day when Maharashtra is celebrating its foundation day. The Maoists were in the final stages of observing a week-long protest to mark the first anniversary of 40 of their members who were gunned down by security forces on April 22 last year.

More details are awaited.

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