Naxals attack Indian paramilitary camp with rockets, heavy fire

NEW DELHI, June 9 : Naxals in central state of Chhattisgarh on Thursday morning attacked an Indian paramilitary camp with heavy gunfire and rockets, officials said.

The attack was carried out on Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) camp in Kondagaon district, about 212 km south of Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh.

Officials said the attack triggered massive exchange of fire between two sides. However, there were no reports of any deaths or damage in the standoff that lasted for more than two hours.

“Maoists fired rockets and opened heavy gunfire at a camp of ITBP personnel here,” an official said. “The attack was repulsed by the men posted at the camp.”

According to India’s state-run broadcaster All India Radio, more than 100 Naxals surrounded the camp from three sides and fired four rockets inside it.

Following the attack authorities have rushed in reinforcements to the area and initiated search operation to track down the Naxals.

Reports said the Naxals went back to the forest area after the attack.

Naxalites are also known as “Maoists”.

Maoist insurgency has its genesis in the violent left-wing rebellion that began in 1967 at village Naxalbari in Indian state of West Bengal.

Currently Maoists are active in more than a third of India’s 600-odd districts across central and eastern India.

India’s former prime minister Manmohan Singh once termed the Naxalite movement as India’s “greatest internal security challenge”.

New Delhi has deployed several companies of its paramilitary forces to take on Naxals in their strongholds.

Reports say the Naxal insurgency has claimed more than 6, 000 lives and rendered thousands of poor inhabitants homeless.