Hyderabad: At least 40 personnel of the Grey Hounds were feared killed when Maoist rebels ambushed their launch in Machkund reservoir in Orissa bordering Andhra Pradesh.
The police team cosisting of over 60 was returning to Sileru in Andhra Pradesh after undertaking combing operations in search of the Maoists in Orissa, when the rebels mounted an attack on the launch. "So far 12 Grey Hounds personnel managed to save themselves. The casualities could be as high as 40", a senior police officer confided to The Hindu.
The 55-member Grey Hounds team, an elite commando force raised to carry out counter-revolutionary operations in Andhra Pradesh, had gone into Orissa along with five other persons on a combing assignment. "The Maoists mounted an LMG attack on the launch. As they came under attack, they must have rushed to other side of the launch, which capsized.", police sources said quoting preliminary reports reaching the State headquarters.
After the Grey Hounds personnnel fell into the reservoir, Maoists used country boats to reach them and opened fire on those trying to swim ashore, police said.
The ghastly incident occured around 9 a.m.
The Machkand reservoir is in Orissa on the border with Andhra Pradesh. Maoists are hyperactive in this region.