|Civil War in Bastar intensifies , Maoists retaliate against brutal state terror|
|Press Trust of India / Raipur March 15, 2007|
In the biggest ever strike by Maoists on security forces in Chhattisgarh, at least 55 police personnel were killed and 11 injured today when more than 300 heavily armed rebels stormed a police station in the Bastar region.
The Naxalites, led by the military wing of the banned CPI-Maoist attacked Rani Bodli police outpost, 525 km from here, in the wee hours today, police sources told PTI on phone from Bijapur district.
“There was fierce fighting by both sides, but when the security forces ran out of ammunition, the rebels lobbed grenades and petrol bombs on the barracks. The policemen were forced to come out from the shelter after it caught fire, and were subsequently killed in firing by the Naxalites,” a source said.
Sixteen Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) jawans and 39 special police officers were killed, while four CAF jawans and seven officers were injured in the incident. Nine other policemen who were at the outpost escaped without any injuries.
The Naxalites looted 48 weapons from the security forces, including rifles and a two-inch mortar, the sources said.
This was the biggest attack by the rebels in Chhattisgarh since the state was formed on November 1, 2000. The killing of 55 secuity personnel has put the state government in an embarrassing position.