A deadly Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh's Bastar region on Saturday claimed the lives of 22 security personnel and injured 31 others, prompting shock and outrage across India and beyond. Since then, many foreign leaders and representatives have condemned the incident, expressing their support for the Indian administration.
While five security personnel were killed and 30 others injured in the forest encounter, several others had gone missing after the incident. The bullet-riddled bodies of 17 of the 18 missing jawans were recovered on Sunday, taking the death toll to 22. This includes members of the CRPF, its elite CoBRA unit and the District Reserve Guard.
The officials had been a part of a major joint offensive with over 2,000 personnel that was launched on Friday night. The slain individuals had been a part of the patrolling team dispatched from Tarrem, ambushed by members of the Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army.
"We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks in Chhattisgarh that took the lives of at least 22 Indian security forces. We offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims as we stand side-by-side with the people of India on this tragic day," read a tweeted message from US Consul General David J. Ranz.
"Heartfelt condolences for the losses suffered by the security personnel in Chhattisgarh. Our thoughts go out to the families of the victims and to the injured, for whom we wish a speedy recovery. France stands with India in the fight against terrorism in all its forms," French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain tweeted.
"Our deepest condolences on the loss of life and injuries in the Chhattisgarh ambush. Thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims, and heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded. Taiwan stands with India and supports its national integrity," tweeted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan).
(With inputs from agencies)