New Delhi/Raipur: The death toll in Chhattishgarh Naxal attack jumped to 24 after 19 more bodies of security personnel have been spotted by the forces, sources said on Sunday.
As per the sources, a joint team of Chhattishgarh police, Special Task Force and Central Reserve Police Force had gone to south Bastar, a stronghold of Maoists, for a combing operation on Friday night.
However, on Saturday afternoon, a four-hour-long encounter ensued between a team of over 400 security personnel and People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) in the Tarrem area near the Sukma-Bijapur border, over 75 km away from Raipur.
In the encounter, at least five security personnel were killed, more than 12 injured and while several went missing.
The search operation, as per the sources, was launched to trace the missing and at least 31 security personnel, with injuries were found and rushed to the capital Raipur for treatment.
The operation is still underway and choppers have been sent to trace the missing jawans, Chattishgarh Additional Director General of Police D M Awasti said as quoted by a media report.
The ADG said bodies of the security personnel have been cited.
Meanwhile,Union Home Minister Amit Shah n Sunday morning spoke to Chhattishgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and took the stock of the situation.
Mr Shah has also cut short his poll campaign in Assam and is returning to Delhi in wake of the attack.
He is likely to hold a review meeting in the evening after taking stock of the situation with NSA, security forces Chiefs, and Intelligence Bureau Chief.
The Home Minister will also seek a report from the agencies as to what went wrong during the security forces’ strategies including the well laid Standard Operative Procedures.