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     Jagdalpur/Raipur, January 18, 2013: In a major incident, Maoists today attacked an Indian Air Force helicopter and injured one crew member in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

     A large number of Maoists fired at an Indian Air Force helicopter, which was engaged today in casualty evacuation in Sukma district, Bastar police sources said.

     One crew member of the Helicopter was injured in Maoist firing, unconfirmed reports said. 

    “The helicopter came under Maoists fire and subsequently forced landed in a forestry area in Sukma District,” Principal Secretary Home of Chhattisgarh Narendra Kumar Aswal told ChhattisgarhTopNews.Com at Raipur.

     Police forces have been rushed to the area for safety of the flying machine and its crew members and further details are awaited, Aswal said.

     The incident took place in Timilwada forest of Sukma district, about 525 Kilometre from Raipur, Bastar Police said.

      In April last year Sukma District Collector Alex V F Paul Menon V was abducted by the Maoists and after a negotiation, he was released unharmed, although at the time of his abduction both of his armed body guards were killed.

     The services of the Indian Air Force helicopter was pressed for casualty evacuation in Timilwada forest area, where earlier in the day in a gun battle one policeman was killed and another injured in Maoists firing, Chhattisgarh Police Spokesperson Sonal Misra also said.

     “We have received information that one of the seven crew members has sustained bullet injuries and are being verified,” Misra said.

     To a question, she said all the seven crew members, including the pilot, have reached a safe area after the forced landing of the helicopter.

     Maoists on November 14, 2008 had shot dead an IAF flight engineer Sergeant Mustafa Ali from the ground firing when an Indian Air Force helicopter was taking off from Pidiya helipad in Bijapur district in the same south region of Chhattisgarh after collecting electronic voting machines for the 2008 Chhattisgarh Assembly Election.

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