The Maoists carried out their biggest-ever ambush on AP police just inside the Orissa border on Sunday. Thirty-seven personnel belonging to the elite anti-naxal force Greyhounds went missing after the attack. The bodies of three persons were recovered later. Two policemen and a boat driver were reportedly taken hostage. At about 9.30 am, nearly 100 Maoists of the Kalimela dalam of Orissa sitting on two hillocks straddling the reservoir opened fire with rocket-launchers, mortars and light machine guns on the boat.
The first few rounds killed the boat driver, who belonged to the Orissa agriculture department. The stranded boat became a sitting duck for the Maoists. The Greyhounds were part of a 60-strong team returning on a motor launch in the Ballimella reservoir after two days of combing operations in Orissa. The reservoir is about 220 km from Visakhapatnam and the incident took place near Alampakka village in Orissa.
The ambush took place when the boat passed between two hills after picking up police personnel at Ellampaka village in Orissa. Police said the party comprised 55 Greyhound personnel, two civil sub-inspectors and three home guards. There were two constables of the Orissa State Armed Police and two boat drivers, taking the number on the launch to 64. The police were in a relaxed mood and some were sleeping on the top of the motorboat when they were ambushed. As the attack intensified the launch broke up and sank, according to one report.