Maoists fire at IAF chopper in Chhattisgarh

Raipur: Leftist militants Friday fired shots at a rescue chopper of the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a densely forested area in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh when it attempted to airlift five injured paramilitary troopers, officials said.

"Rebels fired a few shots at IAF chopper Mi-17 in the violence-hit Chintagufa stretch when it tried to take off with five injured troopers," Sukma Superintendent of Police D. Shrawan told IANS over phone.

He said flight gunner Mukesh Tiwari, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, was hit in his leg.

Shrawan said the chopper was called for evacuation as Maoists injured five CRPF troopers in a fierce gun battle in Chintagufa, about 500 km from here, as the area was largely inaccessible by road.

The gunfight between the rebels and a joint search party, which comprised CRPF and District Force personnel, broke out when the Maoists were challenged at their hideout in the forest.

Despite shots being fired at the helicopter, the five injured troopers (one sub-inspector and four constables) were airlifted to Jagdalpur for treatment.

Reports said one of the CRPF men was taken to a private hospital in Raipur as his condition was said to be serious.

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