01/02/2017 8:43 PM IST | Updated 02/02/2017 9:29 AM IST

Seven Odisha Police Personnel Killed In Landmine Blast, Maoists Suspected

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has called it a "cowardly act".

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BHUBANESWAR -- At least seven police personnel were killed and six others injured in a landmine blast this evening suspected to have been detonated by Maoists in Odisha's Koraput district close to Andhra Pradesh border.

"A total of seven persons have so far died in the landmine blast incident," DIG south-western range, S Syani, said.

The police had recovered four bodies from the site of blast and three others died in the hospital later.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has termed the incident a "cowardly act".

The explosion took place near Mungarbhumi on Sunki ghat, barely one km from Andhra Pradesh border, in the Maoist- affected Koraput district, the officer said.

Altogether 13 personnel, mostly police drivers, were on their war to Cuttack in a truck for training when the landmine went off, Syani said.

The seriously injured personnel were taken to hospitals in Koraput in Odisha and Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh.

The blast was suspected to have been triggered by the red rebels operating in Andhra-Odisha border areas, police said.

"Our men are facing problem in the rescue operation due to darkness," ASP (Koraput) V R Rao said.

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