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Maoists fire at BSF chopper in south Chhattisgarh

A day after nine suspected Maoists were killed in a joint operation at Kanchala forests on the Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border, the rebels targeted an MI-17 helicopter of the BSF.
NEW DELHI: Within three months, Maoists fired at another helicopter of the security forces in south Chhattisgarh on Wednesday. A day after nine suspected Maoists were killed in a joint operation at Kanchala forests on the Chhattisgarh-Andhra Pradesh border, the rebels targeted an MI-17 helicopter of the BSF. However, the BSF managed to evacuate the Greyhound men, involved in the operation, from Battiguda in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, close to the encounter site.In January, an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter crash landed at Chhattisgarh’s Timilwada after Maoists fired bullets that pierced its fuel tank. It triggered a row as six IAF men, including two commandos, abandoned Chhattisgarh Police wireless operator Yamlal Sahu in the chopper and rushed for safety. The IAF men also left behind a light machine gun (LMG) and a pistol.BSF choppers went on five sorties on Wednesday to fly out 95 of around 130 Greyhound men from the forest to their base at Bhadrachalam in Andhra Pradesh. The BSF helicopter was hit when it landed at Battiguda around 3.30 pm. “On the last sortie, we came under fire. However, we managed to fly out with 14 men,” said BSF director-general Subhash Joshi.

The BSF chopper returned to the area on another sortie. “We are concerned about the security of our men and chopper. But, we will definitely perform the task assigned to us,” said Joshi.

IAF choppers evacuated 35 security forces personnel from the area. An IAF source pointed out the imperfect sanitization of the landing area in the Maoist stronghold.

During Tuesday’s joint operation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) were deployed for surveillance. …
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