At least 15 security personnel were killed along with a driver of a private vehicle in a high-intensity land-mine blast in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday.
The incident occurred in the afternoon at Jambhulkheda area.
According to officials, the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast occurred when the security personnel, most of them being members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli police, were on their way to inspect vehicles torched by Naxalites on Tuesday night at Dadapur.
On late Tuesday night, around 150 heavily armed Naxalites reached Dadapur. They first stuck anti-government pamphlets and bills all over the area and later torched parked vehicles and other road-construction machinery.
The blaze gutted 36 vehicles included 11 Tippers, a Tar spreading vehicle, Diesel and petrol tankers, and large road-rollers besides high-voltage generator and two offices.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has condemned the attack, saying the sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain.
He stated that Naxal menace will be fought with stronger efforts.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured complete assistance from central government, he added.
Denying it was an intelligence failure, Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said it was a big loss for the police force and police are ready to give a befitting reply to the Naxals.