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Maoist Attack: 22 jawans killed, 31 injured in Chhattisgarh

A deadly encounter between security forces and Naxals in Tarrem, along the Sukma-Bijapur border in Chhattisgarh. At least 22 jawans were killed and 31 sustained injuries in this encounter.

As many as 22 jawans were killed and 31 sustained injuries in the encounter with Naxals in Chhattisgarh on Saturday. Security forces have launched an operation along the Sukma-Bijapur border, where an intense face-off resulted in the deaths of 22 jawans. One soldier is still believed to be missing.

Naxals seem to have decamped with the weapons, bullet-proof jackets, and even the shoes of dead soldiers, officials said.

A total of 31 injured jawans were brought to a hospital in Bijapur. At least seven were later referred to a hospital in Raipur for treatment. Chhattisgarh Director General of Police (DGP) DM Awasthi and CRPF DG Kuldeep Singh confirmed that the dead bodies of 22 jawans have been recovered.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah condoled the deaths of security personnel in Chhattisgarh. "We will continue our fight against these enemies of peace & progress," Shah said referring to the Maoists who ambushed jawans in Tarrem.

Amit Shah also spoke to Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel in this regard on Sunday.

Speaking to the media in Guwahati, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel said, "Seven injured security personnel who were shifted to Raipur are out of danger. 21 personnel are missing and rescue teams are searching for them."

Earlier on Saturday, PM Narendra Modi had wished the injured jawans a speedy recovery. "My thoughts are with the families of those martyred while fighting Maoists in Chhattisgarh," the Prime Minister had said in a tweet.

On Sunday morning, tribute was paid to the CRPF jawans killed in the line of action at the force's camp in Jagdalpur.

Among the jawans killed in action, several were from the CoBRA (Commando Battalions for Resolute Action) unit while the others were part of the Bastariya Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the District Reserve Guard (DRG).

Inspector-General of Police (Bastar) P Sunderraj said at least nine Naxals were killed in the encounter with security forces that lasted for nearly three-five hours. Among those killed was a woman Maoist.

However, security forces estimate that over 15 Maoists were killed in the encounter.

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