Two jawans of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) were killed and another two seriously injured in a powerful landmine blast triggered by Maoists on National Highway 16 on Friday near Geedam on the border of Dantewada and Jagdalpur districts, about 400 km south of Raipur.
The injured were rushed to government hospital in Jagdalpur.
Dantewada superintendent of police Ankit Garg told HT that the jawans were returning from Dantewada to when the ill-fated vehicle hit the landmine.
"There were four SSB personnel on the vehicle, which was carrying their goods as the jawans were finally withdrawing from Chhattisgarh state. The rebels also resorted to firing after the blast which was retaliated by the forces in vehicles behind the Tata 407. The Naxalites fled into the jungle," Garg said.
The SSB personnel were posted in Dantewada to safeguard Salwa Judum camps.
The police have also called forensic experts to assess the magnitude of the blast.
"It was a powerful blast and huge quantity of explosives might have been used," Garg said.
This is the first time a major blast has occurred on NH - 16 route.
The Maoist intelligence has apparently worked again as they were able to keep track of the movement of SSB forces who left their camp based in Dantewada on Friday morning.
The vast stretch of mineral resource rich Bastar, south Chhattisgarh, spread over 40 thousand sq km is the epicentre of red guerrillas with a strong presence in Dantewada, Narayanpur, Bijapur, Kanker and Jagdalpur.
The Bastar region has repeatedly witnessed violence unleashed by the left-wing extremists resulting in heavy casualties of security forces during last few years.