Stepping up violence in Orissa, Maoists on Monday triggered a landmine blast killing 10 security personnel and injuring as many in the state's Koraput district, police said.
The blast occurred as Home Minister P Chidamabaram visited the Naxalite territory of Lalgarh in neighbouring West Bengal and made a fresh offer of talks with the ultras.
The landmine exploded at Tanginiguda area when a van carrying jawans of the elite anti-Naxalite Special Operation Group (SOG) was returning from an operation from adjacent Malkangiri district.
The jawans belonged to the SOG's road clearance wing.
Sources said, a brief exchange of fire also took place between the security personnel and the Maoists near the blast site.
Additional forces and a medical team have been sent to the spot, about 55 km from Koraput. The injured were admitted to nearby hospitals.
The incident took place despite of strict instruction to the jawans to walk down, leaving their vehicle while crossing the Govindpali Ghati area, the sources said.