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Raipur: An Indian Air Force helicopter had to make an emergency landing at a forested location in Chhattisgarh last evening after Maoist rebels opened fire on it, police said. The crew, one of whom was injured, safely reached a nearby paramilitary camp.
Officers at the police headquarters here said the Mi-17 chopper, which was took off from Jagdalpur town and was on its way to Sukma district to airlift some policemen seriously injured in a gunfight with Maoists, went missing after rebels attacked it.
“Rebels opened fire on IAF helicopter when it tried to land in a conflict zone in Sukma district to airlift policemen who had received multiple gunshots in an encounter,” Chhattisgarh’s Director General of Police, Ramniwas, said.
The pilot was forced to leave amid intense firing and for some time, the helicopter went off the radar, but it finally managed to make an emergency landing in a jungle in Chintalnar area of Sukma district.
Officials in Sukma said all the seven people on board safely reached a nearby Central Reserve Police Force camp. According to reports, the helicopter’s wireless operator was injured in the firing but his condition was stated to be out of danger.
A policeman was killed and several others were wounded in a lengthy gun battle with Maoists at Pollampalli, some 500km south of Raipur.