Raipur: Three jawans of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) were killed and another seriously injured on Friday when a mini truck of the force was blown up in a landmine explosion triggered by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, police said.
    
"Three jawans of SSB died while another personnel was injured when the vehicle came in contact with a landmine planted by the Maoists," ADG (Naxal Operations) Ram Nivas said.
   
The fourth trooper, a constable, is said to be in critical condition.
    
The incident occurred this morning in Bastanar area under the jurisdiction of Geedam police station in the Naxal-hit district where the SSB had been deployed for the protection of Salva Judum camps and were guarding the area for the past four years, he said.
   
Personnel of the SSB, which has been replaced by the Chhattisgarh police now, were proceeding to Raipur to move out of the state and were near the national highway near Bastanar when the blast took place, killing two jawans on the spot.
   
Another SSB man succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment.
   
"Three troopers have been killed while one has been airlifted to a hospital in Jagdalpur," Nivas said.   

Senior officials including Inspector General of Jagdalpur and SP Dantewada have reached the spot along with a strong contingent of the CRPF to take stock of the situation and launch combing operations, he said.
   
Two battalions of the SSB were deployed in 2008 to protect the volunteers of Salwa Judum and recently the Home Ministry had ordered their withdrawal from the state as the state police agreed to take over the duty.

(Agencies)