Phulbani: At least five persons, including two women and a three-year-old child, were killed as Maoists blew up an ambulance by triggering a landmine blast in Orissa`s Kandhamal district, police said on Sunday.
"We have received information about a landmine explosion that blew up an ambulance in Brahmanigaon area of Kandhamal late last night," Director General of Police Manmohan Praharaj told a news agency.
The ambulance was on its way from Gadapur to Brahmanigaon, about two km from the blast site, when it was targetted in the Maoist infested area close to Gajapati and Ganjam, the police said.
The explosion that took place near a culvert at Pangdugaon, about 300 km from here, killed among others a woman health worker, a pregnant woman and the ambulance
driver, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) RK Sharma said.
The victims were identified as Simon Mallick the driver, Imoty Digal the pregnant lady, her three-year-old daughter Subhasri Digal, their relative Bunu Digal and Sukanti Pradhan the health worker, the police said.
While the driver hailed from Gadapur village in the district, the other victims belonged to Daringbadi, he said.
Security forces including CRPF jawans have launched a massive combing operation in the area to nab the Maoists.
The incident came close on the heels of the killing of a prominent contractor, Manoj Sahu on November 25 in Brahmanigaon area.