CRPF on Friday said that Naxals had planned a deliberate ambush and brutally killed seven of its troops, who were travelling to deliver a cooler for an ailing sniffer dog, who was hit by heatstroke and needed urgent medical attention in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada.

An inquiry has been ordered to find out how the information of the secret movement was leaked.

Force chief K Durga Prasad said the landmine blast that took place near the Melawada village in the said district on March 30 was a "setback" for the paramilitary and they are looking at new measures and protocols to "avoid" such incidents in the future.

Mangled remains of a CRPF vehicle in the aftermath of a Naxal attack on a CRPF convoy passing through Malewada in Dantewada on Wednesday | PTI

"However, there will be no knee-jerk reactions. We will take considered action," he told reporters. The DG, who came back to the force headquarters here after a visit to the ambush spot on Thursday, said the Naxals shot from a "close range" three jawans after they were thrown out of the vehicle by the impact of the blast and lay almost lifeless on the road.

"There are AK-47 bullet injuries on the bodies of three troops. We are trying to ascertain if they had breathed their last and were then shot or they were alive and subsequently shot dead," the DG said, adding the ultras closed in on the bodies to look for weapons but the men were carrying none.

Prasad added that the TATA-709 vehicle which was sent to fetch an air cooler for an ailing Belgian Malinois patrol dog of the force could have been "spotted" while either leaving the force camp at a place called Renganar or from a market place from where four more troops, who were going to their camp after leave, boarded the ill-fated four-wheeler.

Seven Central Reserve Police Force men were killed in the deadly blast carried out by Maoists that left a massive six-feet deep crater on the road in the worst Maoist violence-affected Dantewada district of the state.

The CRPF boss said it is suspected that Naxals dug a "fox hole tunnel" from near a culvert to plant almost 40-50kgs of explosive beneath the 'pucca' black top road.

(Feature image source: Twitter)