SOG personnel killed in Maoist encounter in Orissa

Acting on a tip-off, a team of security personnel including the elite anti-naxal Special Operation Group (SOG) and state police had launched a combing operation in Ambajari forest near here in the wee hours today. A group of Maoists suddenly opened fired at the security personnel who retaliated.

In the exchange of fire, three SOG jawans were killed and six others injured, police said, adding four jawans were shifted to Vishakhapatnam as their condition was stated to be critical. The dead were identified as Sanjeet K Tirkey, Balram Pradhan and Deepak Sonbhoy, while it is not yet ascertained that there was any casualty from the Maoist side, police said.

The forest area, barely five km from this district headquarter town, was being thoroughly searched after the gun-battle to arrest the naxals who fled, police said. In another incident in nearby Malkangiri district, Maoists blew up a pump house and control room near the pipeline of a private industrial house meant for movement of minerals in Chitrakonda area, police said.

About 50 armed ultras raided the area early today and triggered explosion after overpowering and assaulting the guards present at the site, they said. The Maoists had triggered two explosions in Orissa yesterday, affecting train services on the Mumbai-Howrah route during their 48-hour bandh call.

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