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Maoists hijack truck, loot 16 tonnes of ammonium nitrate

Raipur, May 20 (Calcutta Tube) Suspected Maoists hijacked a truck in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district and looted 16 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer also used in making explosives, police said Thursday.

‘It’s really very stunning. A few Maoists forcibly diverted the truck from National Highway 43 on Tuesday and took it to their forest hideout in Bastar district. They released the truck and the driver after offloading about 16 tonnes of ammonium nitrate,’ Bastar Superintendent of Police P. Sundaraj told IANS.

He said the police came to know about the incident only when the driver, Pappa Rao, told them about it Thursday at 1 a.m.

Ammonium nitrate is a common fertiliser. It is also used as an oxidizing agent in explosives, which Maoists use to deadly effect.

Officials at the police headquarters here say two to three people intercepted the truck on the national highway between Bhanpuri-Kondagaon in Bastar as it was on way to Raipur from Andhra Pradesh port city Visakhapatnam.

As per the driver’s version, the Maoists took the truck 50-60 km inside a forested area and offloaded the ammonium nitrate.

Police sources say that driver is unsure about the exact location where the rebels looted the material. But police suspect the spot was close to Mardapal in Bastar district which is a Maoists hideout since the late 1980s.

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