NEW DELHI, March 13 (Xinhua) -- At least nine paramilitary troopers of India's Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed and two others wounded Tuesday after Naxals targeted their vehicle with a powerful improvised explosive device (IED) in central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, officials said.
The mine proof vehicle (MPV) carrying CRPF personnel was blown up after it was hit by an IED blast at Kistaram area in Sukma district, about 395 km south of Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh.
"Nine CRPF men were killed and two others wounded in today's unfortunate attack," D M Awasthi, special director general of police, anti-Naxal operations told the media.
"The wounded have been airlifted to Raipur and soon we are going to airlift the bodies of slain CRPF personnel."
Awasthi said a patrolling party of the paramilitary was going from Kistaram to Palodi in an anti-landmine vehicle when it was targeted by Naxals by triggering an IED laden in the area.
The wounded CRPF personnel were evacuated to Raipur in helicopter and admitted at a super speciality hospital.
Following the attack, officials said huge contingents of paramilitary and police were rushed to the spot to take on Naxals.
Photographs from the spot show the MPV flipped over due to the impact of blast and belongings of slain CRPF men scattered on the ground.
India's home minister has described the attack as "distressing" and expressed sorrow over the killing of CRPF personnel.
"Today's IED blast in Sukma, Chhattisgarh is deeply distressing. I bow to each and every security personnel who attained martyrdom while serving the nation," Singh wrote on Twitter.
Officials said Singh has directed director general of CRPF to rush to Chhattisgarh.
Reports pouring in from Chhattisgarh said a gunfight broke out in the area during morning between specially trained COBRA force and Naxals and the vehicle that was targeted was a reinforcement rushing to the area.
COBRA force of CRPF proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare is trained to tackle the Naxalist insurgency in India.
The attack came 11 days after 10 Naxals were killed in a forest area located on an inter-state border between Telangana and Chhattisgarh by joint contingents of police.
Last year in April, 25 paramilitary personnel were killed in a deadly Naxalite attack in the district. Prior to that in March, another attack left 12 CRPF personnel dead.