4 BSF officers killed in IED blast

Malkangiri: Four BSF officers, including a Commanding Officer, were today killed in an IED blast by suspected Maoists in Malkangiri district.

The BSF squad was targeted at around 1 PM in the Janbai area of the district, under Chitragonda police station area. The jungles are a Naxal hotbed as it touches the borders of two other states – Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, making it a corridor for Maoists. The ultras have apparently carried out the attack on the eve of the panchayat polls to derail the election process and create panic among the voters. 

According to initial reports, the officers were returning in their vehicle after attending a meeting with the district administration. There were six BSF personnel in the Bolero vehicle. The vehicle was targeted near Dyke number three. The Maoists resorted to heavy firing too. The victims have been identified as Commandant (107 battalion) G R Khaswan, his Second-in-Command Rajesh Sharan, Inspector Ashok and Assistant Sub-Inspector and radio operator of the squad Jitendra. The injured jawans were admitted to the Malkangiri hospital. Two other civilians were also reportedly injured in the Maoist attack. The Maoists had earlier threatened to boycott the panchayat polls.  . 

A Border Security Force (BSF) company is located in the area where the blast occurred. The area witnesses a huge inter-state movement of armed Maoist cadres, a senior official said.