At least 16 people, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, police said.
The blast followed Naxals torching 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day, police said.
Those killed were members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Gadchiroli police, which was on way to inspect the torched vehicles, an official said.
The blast took place as the vehicle reached Lendhari nullah in Kurkheda area, the official said.
Police teams were reaching the spot for evacuation operation, he said.
Attack not due to intelligence failure: Maharashtra DGP
Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said on Wednesday that the Naxal attack was not a result of intelligence failure.
Terming it a “big loss” for the force, Jaiswal said that police “were ready to give a befitting reply to the Naxals”.
“I cannot call this an intelligence failure… The Maharashtra police will take whatever action needed against such activities. It is a big loss for Maharashtra police,” Jaiswal said.
The Naxals want to overthrow the state, he said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack, saying perpetrators of such violence would not be spared.
“Strongly condemn the despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. I salute all the brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten,” he tweeted.
“My thoughts & solidarity are with the bereaved families. The perpetrators of such violence will not be spared,” the Prime Minister said in his tweet.