CoBRA officer killed, 9 commandos injured in blast at Chhattisgarh
An officer of the Central Police Reserve Force’s (CRPF) forest warfare unit, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), was killed and nine others were injured when Maoists caused an IED blast at the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, officials said on Sunday.
Assistant Commandant Nitin Bhalerao, 33, was injured in the attack and succumbed to them in the wee hours of Sunday.
The improvised explosive device blast occurred around 9 pm on Saturday in the Chintalnar forest area of Sukma district, which is 400 kilometers from Raipur. The injured personnel were evacuated by a Mi-17 V5 helicopter of the IAF around midnight, after which Bhalerao passed away.
Seven commandos are being treated at a hospital in Raipur while two are being given medical care at a unit hospital at Chintalnar, located in the south Bastar area of the state, the officials said.
The injured troops are part of the 206th battalion of the CoBRA.
The blast took place when a joint force of the local police and the CoBRA were out on a domination exercise.
The team was scouting the area for the induction of five new battalions of the Central Reserve Police Force and establishment of their new camps in this area and that is when the IED went off, official sources said.
Bhalerao, a resident of Nashik in Maharashtra, was a decorated commando and had been adjudged the best in various combat competitions, a senior officer of the force said.
He joined the CRPF in 2010 and came to CoBRA in 2019.
The CoBRA was raised by the CRPF in 2009 as a special guerrilla combat wing for undertaking anti-Naxal operations as well as combating insurgents in the northeast.