A senior police officer and eight constables were killed when nearly 250 Maoists ambushed them in a jungle at Gariabandh, along the Chhattisgarh-Orissa border, 150 km from here.

The 10-member police team, led by Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pawar, was ambushed on Monday evening in the Sonabed jungle, which is in Chhattisgarh, but close to the Orissa border, Inspector-General of Police Rajesh Mishra said on Tuesday.

Nine policemen, including Mr. Pawar, were killed, and one policeman went missing.

The team was on its way to Sosing village, about 15 km from the jungle area, after being informed about Maoists present there.

Mr. Mishra said 200-250 Maoists were involved in the attack, and they also hacked the bodies of some policemen with sharp-edged objects.

Vehicle broke down

The policemen's vehicle had broken down and they boarded a tractor and proceeded to Anamore, 15 km from Sosing. As the Maoists got information about the breakdown of the police vehicle and the changed route, they launched a surprise attack on the police by opening fire.

He said the personnel returned the fire but there was no report of any Maoist casualty.