4 BSF officers die in Maoist ambush

KORAPUT: Four BSF officers, including a commandant, were killed and two jawans injured in a Maoist ambush in Orissa’s Malkangiri district on Friday. The attack came a day before the state goes for the first phase of Panchayat polls.

The officers were identified as Jeevan Ram Kaswan (commandant), Rajesh Saran (deputy commandant), Ashok Yadav (inspector) and Jitendra Sahu (assistant sub-inspector). The jawans – Bishnu Pani and S Kundu (driver) – were being treated at a Malkangiri hospital. Police said the attack took place around 1pm when the BSF party was returning to their headquarters in Balimela after inspecting a security camp at Chitrakonda.

“The Maoists triggered an IED explosion when the team’s vehicle was passing near Janiguda, about 75 km from Malkangiri. The blast overturned the vehicle and soon a group of around 20 Maoists emerged from the bushes and started firing indiscriminately at the wounded officials,” said DIG Saumeyendra Priyadarsi.

“Our men have recovered the bodies and combing operation has been intensified in the area.” The attack, one of the biggest in the district since 2008, was the first on the BSF since its deployment in Malkangiri in April 2010.

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