Sixteen policemen, including an inspector, a sub-inspector and five women constables, were killed in a Naxal attack at Tawitola in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district, police said.
A police party was on routine patrolling between Mumumgaon and Dhanora when Naxals opened indiscriminate fire from Hatti Gota hillock, near Dhanora taluka headquarters.
Inspector Avinash Iyer, sub-inspector Shantaram Ghorpade and 14 others including five women constables fell to the bullets.
The deceased were identified as Shafi Bhaktdas Shettiwar, Havildars Suresh Kirange and Hemraj Tembhurne, Nayak Kashinath Rohankar, Constables Damodar Naitam, Sadanand Madavi, Santosh Durge, Vilas Mandale, Manik Usendi and woman constables Shobha Tade, Gendkumar Fardia, Shakuntala Aalam, Alka Gawde and Sunita Kallo.
Additional Superintendent of Police Manoj Sharma told PTI that all the bodies are being brought back to Gadchiroli district headquarters. After the attack, additional police force, medical team, bomb detection and disposal squad and doq squad were rushed to the site. The bodies will be kept at the district hospital for a post-mortem.