Ten persons, including eight policemen, were killed and two policemen were injured in Latehar district on Saturday when Maoists attacked a convoy of MP and former Jharkhand Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari, who escaped unhurt.

“Maoists triggered an IED blast and then opened fire on the security vehicle which was following Mr. Namdhari's car at Ladu More in the district,” Director-General of Police G. S. Rath said.

(About a hundred Maoists had reportedly gathered in Latehar on Friday and pledged revenge for the killing of their top leader Kishenji in neighbouring West Bengal.)

Six policemen, including Assistant Sub-Inspector Bhim Tudu, and two civilians were killed on the spot, Latehar Superintendent of Police B.D. Sharma said.

Palamau Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Jha said two among the four injured policemen, who were admitted to a hospital in Medininagar, died later.

The attack took place when the MP was returning from a function at Mahuatand, Inspector General of Police (Operation) R.K. Malik said.

Mr. Namdhari said his escort vehicle was caught in the blast but his car was able to speed away.

Latehar Additional Superintendent of Police B. Chandramohan said the attack took place at around 5:30 p.m. in the dense forest areas near Project Tiger at Palamau. It came hours before Maoists' call for a two-day Bharat Bandh from midnight on Saturday.

Police stations alerted

Mr. Chandramohan said all police stations were alerted and a massive combing operation would be carried out in the Palamau division under which Latehar falls.