Ten policemen and the driver of a vehicle carrying them were killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Wednesday.

The vehicle carrying District Reserve Guard personnel of the state police was blown off by an improvised explosive device planted by Maoists near Aranpur of Dantewada district. The policemen were on their way back from an anti-Maoist operation.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed grief at the incident and offered condolences to the families of those who died. “This fight [against Maoists] is in its last stage,” he said, adding that they will not be spared.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Baghel after the attack to take stock of the situation and assured the chief minister of all help, PTI reported.

Additional forces have been deployed at the site of the blast and the bodies are being recovered, Bastar range Inspector General P Sundar Rajan said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also offered his condolences.

“Strongly condemn the attack on the Chhattisgarh police in Dantewada,” Modi tweeted. “I pay my tributes to the brave personnel we lost in the attack. Their sacrifice will always be remembered. My condolences to the bereaved families.”

Chhattisgarh has been marred by several such Maoist attacks in the past.

In April 2021, 22 security personnel had died in Sukma and Bijapur after a gunbattle broke out when a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation. In March 2020, 17 security personnel had died after they were ambushed in the Minpa area of Sukma district. In 2019, Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Bheema Mandavi was among five persons killed in a Maoist attack on his convoy in Dantewada district.