Naxalites blew up the mini-goods van in which the security personnel were travelling by using an Improvised Explosive Device

Ten policemen were killed when their vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday, officials said.

The policemen were returning from an anti-Maoist operation that was launched after intelligence inputs, they said. TV visuals from a local news channel showed a huge crater splitting the road wide open.

Bodies covered with plastic sheets, and also vehicle parts were seen strewn along. The policemen were members of the District Reserve Guard (DRG) special force of the state police. DRG comprises mostly local tribals trained to combat Maoists.

The incident took place under Aranpur police station limits as the DRG team was returning after an anti-Naxal operation, the official said. The attack site is around 450 km from state capital Raipur. Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on the attack.

“Anguished by the cowardly attack on the Chhattisgarh police at Dantewada. Have spoken to Chhattisgarh's Chief Minister and assured all possible assistance to the state government. My condolences to the bereaved family members of the martyred Jawans,” Shah tweeted.

“Ten DRG Jawans and one civilian driver lost their lives in the attack. Their bodies are being evacuated from the spot. Senior officers are present at the spot,” said P Sundarraj, IG Bastar.