Security personnel were escorting ZP chief to village when incident occurred

Thirteen police personnel were killed in an ambush by Maoists in the Saro forests of Jharkhand's Garhwa district on Saturday.

After causing a landmine blast between the Burgar and Bhadaria Road police stations, the rebels opened fire at an anti-mine van, killing 11 jawans of the Jharkhand Armed Police-7 and two police personnel. The ultras also took away 11 INSAS rifles, two self-loading rifles and one AK-47 from the van, said Jharkhand police spokesman R.K. Malik.

Two injured personnel were admitted to hospital.

Additional forces were rushed to the spot, a Maoist-dominated area.

The security forces were escorting zilla parishad president Sushma Mehta to a village, where she was to meet aggrieved people protesting against the poor condition of a primary health centre. While Ms. Mehta escaped unhurt, her bodyguard and driver went missing after the blast, the police said.

Last December, 12 police personnel were killed in the same district when Maoists attacked a convoy of Inder Singh Namdhari, MP.