Odishatv Bureau

Koraput: The death toll due to landmine blast by Maoists near Mungarbhumi on Sunki ghat in Koraput district close to Andhra Pradesh border increased to 8 after body of another Odisha State Armed Police (OSAP) personnel was found today.

According to sources, Body of OSAP official Tulasiram Majhi, who had gone missing after the blast, was found today.

The other deceased have been identified as Habildar Arun Kumar Nayak, Ganesh Prasad Saha, Somanath Sisa, Sanjay Kumar Dash, Subarna Kumar Raj and Pradipta Kumar Rout.

The police had recovered four bodies from the site of blast yesterday and three others died in the hospital later.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has termed the incident a "cowardly act".

The explosion took place near Mungarbhumi on Sunki ghat, barely one km from Andhra Pradesh border, in the Maoist- affected Koraput district, the officer said.

Altogether 13 personnel, mostly police drivers, were on their way to Cuttack in a truck for training when the landmine went off, said Koraput DIG S Saini.

The seriously injured personnel were taken to hospitals in Koraput in Odisha and Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh.

The blast was suspected to have been triggered by the red rebels operating in Andhra-Odisha border areas, police said.

"Our men are facing problem in the rescue operation due to darkness," ASP (Koraput) V R Rao said.