Striking in a big way for the first time in coastal Orissa, Naxalites killed 14 people, including 13 policemen, besides injuring 10 others and looting the district armoury here after virtually laying siege to the town, police said on Saturday.
In a daring and meticulously planned attack late on Friday night, the ultras targeted a police training school, an armoury and a police station in Nayagarh and another police station at Daspalla, the police said.
A huge cache of arms and ammunition was taken away in a truck and a bus they had hijacked, the police said.
A group of nearly 100 Naxals, including women cadre with bombs and firearms, carried out the attack killing 13 police personnel, including two women, and a civilian besides causing injuries to about nine people, Nayagarh Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar said.
While 10 police personnel were killed at the police training school, armoury and Nayagarh police station, a civilian caught in the crossfire died at Daspalla, he said.
Two police personnel were shot dead by the Naxalites at the Mahipur police outpost, while they were returning after carrying out the operation. One injured policemen succumbed to his wounds on Saturday. Five of the injured were sent to the SCB medical college hospital at Cuttack and the rest admitted to local hospitals, the police said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today visited the armoury and the police training school at Nayagarh.
Landmines laid by the Naxalites at Majuriapali also caused injuries to one person early today, the police said. The attack, the first of its kind in coastal Orissa, was launched at approximately 11 pm and continued up to past midnight, they said.
The district armoury and PTS were virtually emptied by the Maoists, the police said. Police personnel have been deployed in the district and its borders sealed, while efforts were on to trace the ultras, the police said.
Though Nayagarh district had been unaffected by the Naxal menace, the ultras are active in neighbouring Gajapati and parts of Kandhamal district. Nayagarh happens to be the hometown of prominent Maoist leader Sabysachi Panda.
In a similar attack in 2005 at the district headquarter town of Koraput, Naxalites had looted a large quantity of arms and ammunition from the police armoury.
Before launching the attack, the ultras asked the people to stay indoors, making it clear that their intention was to carry away arms and ammunition, local residents said.