Raipur: Twenty-six CRPF personnel were killed in an ambush by naxalites in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district on Monday.
The deadly assault occurred around 12:25 pm in Kalapathar area of south Bastar region.
All the troops belonged to the 74th battalion of the force deployed in the area for anti-Maoist operations.
Giving an eyewitness account of the encounter, injured CRPF constable Sher Mohammed said, "They were around 300 and we were around 150, we kept firing. I shot 3-4 Naxals in the chest.
"First Naxals sent villagers to trace our location, then almost 300 Naxals attacked us. We also fired and killed many," he said.
On the other hand, another jawan Saurabh Malik told ANI that the aim of Naxals was to circle them.
He added that they could not do so as the CRPF battalion kept firing and moving on.
The CRPF jawans were part of the road opening party when they were attacked by Naxals.
Weapons of jawans are also said to have been looted.
Reacting to the incident, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Extremely pained to know about the killing of CRPF personnel in Sukma. My tributes to the martyrs and condolences to their families."