Seven killed in landmine blast in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Jan 28 (IANS) Seven people, including five policemen, were killed by the banned Maoist group, CPI-Maoist, in a landmine blast in Jharkhand’s Palamau district on Wednesday evening, police said on Thursday.

The blast, which took place near Kalapahari area of the district, around 170 km from here, was so powerful that it was heard by people in nearby villages.

Besides the five policemen, one driver and a guard were also killed in the explosion around 5.30 p.m. on Wednesday that hit a vehicle carrying more than 12 policemen.

Six policemen who were injured in blast were airlifted to Ranchi in the night.

According to police sources, Maoist guerrillas trapped the security personnel by spreading rumours that the bodies of the a few Maoists belonging to the TPC-Maoist faction were lying in the area.

The sources said that a gunfight had erupted between the Communist Party of India-Maoist and another Maoist group, Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC), in the same area for last three days.

“Based on the information about the bodies, the policemen moved in two vehicles — a police jeep and a mini bus. Maoists blew up the mini bus to edffect maximum casualties,” a police officer told IANS.

An anti-landmine vehicle was not used during the movement, the sources said.

In the past, Maoist guerrillas have detonated landmine blasts and targeted police vehicles on more than 20 occasions since the creation of the state in 2000.

The last landmine blast was during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, in which five policemen were killed in Dumka district.

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