At least four policemen were killed and 11 injured when Maoists triggered multiple landmine blasts near Dhardhariya village in Lohardaga district of Jharkhand on Tuesday, police said.

“Four policemen were killed when the Maoists triggered the blasts as the personnel were returning after a long range patrolling from Urumuru village,” Lohardaga police chief Asim Vikrant Minz told PTI over phone.

The securitymen opened fire as the rebels triggered the landmines and the ultras retaliated. The area soon became a semi-dark zone with thick smoke immediately afterwards.

The 11 injured policemen were later brought to a health centre in Lohardaga for first aid but the ultras escaped, sources said.

The securitymen went to the area on getting tip off that the Maoists had assembled there, but as they returned after not spotting anyone the rebels were lying in wait to ambush the patrol.

CRPF official injured in gun battle in Bokaro

Meanwhile, a senior CRPF official was injured in an encounter with Maoists as security forces destroyed a rebel camp at Jhumra hills in Bokaro district of Jharkhand, a senior police said.

Assistant Commandant J.P. Yadav suffered bullet injury on shoulder during the gunbattle with the Maoists but was now out of danger, Superintendent of Police S.K. Singh told newsmen in Bokaro.

About 40 Maoists fought with the security personnel and they fired over 600 rounds, Mr. Singh said and added the CRPF and the district police returned 500 shots before the rebels retreated into the forests.

The police destroyed their camp and recovered some explosives, wire, batteries, flash lights and a gas cylinder from the spot, he said.

However, it was not known whether the Maoists had suffered any casualty.

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