Sambalpur: A group of suspected Maoists on Tuesday evening set ablaze at least 25 trucks of a private construction company and looted a gun from the security guard at Munder under Jujumura police station in Sambalpur district, nearly 300 km from here.

According to reports, a group of about 15 armed rebels, including a few women cadres, came to the ARSS Infrastructure Private Limited (ARSSIPL) camp in the evening and looked for two senior officials of the company. When they did not find them, they asked the other officials present there to surrender their mobile phones.

“The hostage persons were taken to a nearby jungle where they stayed till the Maoists damaged the vehicles. They were later released and no one was injured in the incident,” Sambalpur’s SP Nikhil Kanodia told reporters. Then they set the vehicles on fire by hurling petrol bombs at them and blasted the camp by detonating dynamites.

“We received the report that the Maoists have attacked ARSS Infrastructure Private Limited’s at Munder. The ultras have set ablaze at least 25 vehicles by petrol bombs and triggering dynamite explosion. However, fortunately, there has not been any human casualty,” Sambalpur District Collector, Mrinalini Darswal said.

The Collector said, “Senior police officials, including the District Superintendent of Police, Nikhil Kanodia, have rushed to the spot. Ramachandra Supakar, an ARSSPL engineer who was present at the camp when the incident occurred, said that the rebels were in uniforms and were speaking in Oriya and Hindi. “The rebels were wearing military uniforms and conversing in Oriya and Hindi. Soon after setting the camp on fire, they fled to the jungle,” said Mr. Supakar.

The Maoists left the place immediately after damaging the vehicles; the SP said adding that combing operations have been intensified in the area.