An encounter between security forces and Maoists took place at Bandu jungle in West Singhbhum district, 280 km from here on Thursday.

According to police, the rebels may have suffered injuries in the encounter as bloodstains were found on the side from where they were firing. No casualty was reported from the paramilitary forces.

West Singhbhum Superintendent of Police Pankaj Kamboj said: “The encounter took place between 10.30 and 11 a.m. Our teams were combing that area as we suspected the presence of Maoists. We have recovered 100 rounds of live cartridges and an improvised explosive device from the spot where the rebels were hiding.”

“Acting on a tip-off, we sent our team to the Bandu jungle where a large squad of armed naxals had been spotted by a source.” The forest is close to Rania [in Khunti district] where two jawans were killed in a gunfight with the rebels two days ago.

According to Mr. Kamboj, the rebels came in large numbers. The encounter lasted over an hour, and when there was no sound of fire from the other side, the paramilitary forces resumed the combing operation.

The Maoists have recently intensified attacks in areas surrounding Saranda.